UCLA– Richard Hovannisian, Professor Emeritus at UCLA and Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, was the recipient of the “Freedom Award” of the Armenian National Committee of Australia during a formal banquet and program in Sydney on October 2.
ANC Executive Director Haig Kayserian presented the award to Hovannisian “In recognition of educating generations on Armenia’s modern history, including the Armenian Genocide and Armenia’s First Republic over many decades in Australia and beyond.” Members of Parliament Trent Zimmerman and Joel Fitzgibbon, Chair and Vice Chair of the Australia-Armenia Inter-Parliamentary Union, both received the “Armenian Community’s Friend of the Year Award.” Young advocates for the Armenian Cause were acknowledged and received certificates from ANC Chair Khajaque Kortian.
In accepting the “Freedom Award,” Hovannisian reflected briefly on the unexpected path that led him to become a pioneering historian of the Republic of Armenia and his decades-long advocacy of education and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He encouraged the younger generation to continue to advance the cause with steadfast commitment.
While in Sydney, Richard Hovannisian met with students and faculty of the Armenian day school, Galstaun College, and engaged in an active exchange about Armenian history and personal experiences in researching materials on the Republic of Armenia. During his week in Australia, he also spoke under the auspices of the ANC and Armenian Youth Federation to large community audiences both in Sydney and in Melbourne on the legacy of the Armenian republic on its hundredth anniversary.
Just before departing for Australia on October 18, Professor Hovannisian gave a historical overview of the California Armenian community for members of the California Armenian Legislative Caucus in a day-long program that began in the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church. He was in Fresno on November 1 for an illustrated lecture on the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia and of the H.M.E.M. athletic union, sponsored by the Fresno chapters of the H.M.E.M. and Hamazkayin, and the California State University Armenian Studies Program. Then on November 3, he was honored, along with Professor Nina Garsoian, during a major symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, in conjunction with the special exhibition on Armenian art currently being featured in the museum. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Armenian Center of Columbia University.