DILIJAN INTENATIONAL SCHOOL OPENS ITS DOORS

 

AGBU Central Board Member Noubar Afeyan Awarded a State Medal 

The RA President Serzh Sargsyan, accompanied by the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, President Tomislav Nikolic of the Serbian Republic, President Bako Sahakyan of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and numerous other guests and dignitaries took part in the opening of the Dilijan International School (UWC Dilijan College) on October 11th 2014. The Initiators of the Dilijan International School project are Russia-based Armenian businessman Ruben Vardanyan and his wife Veronica Zonabend. The Board of Trustees of the School is comprised of prominent individuals in the fields of education and business from the USA, Great Britain, France, Switzerland and Japan. This is the United World Colleges first international school in either Eastern Europe or the CIS Countries. More than 200 donors from all over the world contributed to the implementation of this project. 115 million USD has been spent on this project in Phase One and another 75 million USD will be spent in Phase Two. The idea of building an international school in Armenia was born in 2006 and construction began in 2012. There are currently 96 students (aged 16-17) and 25 teachers in the Dilijan School. The School plans to reach its full capacity of 650 students and 60 teachers by 2023. The current Director’s post is held by John Puddefoot and the students of the school receive an internationally acknowledged IB Diploma. In 2017 the school will begin admitting students aged 13-14. Currently, only 10 out of the 96 students of the school are from Armenia, with the others coming from Spain, Brazil, Ghana, Turkey and other countries. Founder and President of the Board Ruben Vardanyan stated, “I hope this school will serve as an example of an institution providing an education of international standards. I dream of seeing this school become a world leader in educating brilliant kids, who, as well as receiving a high standard of education, will also learn to love their homeland, Armenia”. By RA presidential decrees, a group of individuals who had brought the school project to life were awarded medals of the Republic of Armenia for their outstanding contribution to building and launching the Dilijan International School, promotion of education in Armenia and international scientific-educational cooperation, their significant contribution to implementing educational projects and major personal contribution to the construction of the Dilijan International School. At the event, the Armenian President congratulated the individuals involved and awarded RA state decorations. AGBU Central Board Member Noubar Afeyan (USA) was among the recipients of state award for his services to the homeland. The International School is unique in the region and the RA President expressed a wish to see students of all background make up the student body including those from Azerbaijan. “I truly wish to see Azeri students studying in this school. I am sure that day will come and it will come very soon”. Among the attendants of the opening ceremony were the US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern, President of the Carnegie Foundation of New York Vardan Gregorian, Richard and Raffi Hovhanissian, boxer Arthur Abraham and others.