The Genocide Education Project mourns the death of Richard G. Hovannisian, one of its founding advisory board members.
The renowned leader of Armenian Studies who passed away on July 10, 2023, was a highly esteemed mentor and counselor to GenEd, beginning from its infancy through its development into a nationwide educational non-profit, providing professional development services on teaching about genocide and the Armenian case to educators across the country. As recently as the 2020 Azeri-Turkish attack on Artsakh and its continuing effects, GenEd sought Prof. Hovannisian’s expertise to help put these current events in their proper historical context for educators GenEd serves.
“I was very fortunate to have been one of Professor Hovannisian’s students,” said Roxanne Makasdjian, GenEd Executive Director and founding board member. “His courses and life’s work inspired me to disseminate the lessons of Armenian history through my own endeavors, including GenEd.”
His pioneering leadership of Armenian Studies included the seminal books “Armenia on the Road to Independence,” the four-volume “Republic of Armenia,” the collection of essays by Armenian history scholars he edited, “The Armenian People: From Ancient to Modern Times,” as well as his hosting of the conferences, “Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces,” followed by print editions. Prof. Hovannisian was a champion of Armenian Genocide recognition and education, and GenEd is forever grateful to him for having collected approximately 1,000 interviews with Armenian Genocide survivors during his influential tenure as Chair of Modern Armenian History at UCLA. These first-person witness testimonies are critical to effective genocide education today.
Having partnered on educational projects with Prof. Hovannisian’s daughter, Ani, and son, Armen, in their respective capacities as documentary filmmaker and Armenian Bar Association board member), GenEd offers its sincere condolences to them and the entire Hovannisian family. May they find a measure of solace in his extraordinary contributions to the world, the Armenian nation, and to their personal lives.
With the deepest respect and gratitude – Thank you, Prof. Hovannisian. Rest in Peace.