On October 10th, the American University of Armenia (AUA) unveiled a plaque in honor of Richard Hovannisian, who has donated his personal library of 1,338 books to AUA’s AGBU Papazian Library. Hovannisian’s library includes many history books covering the subjects of Armenian, Russian and Soviet, Near and Middle Eastern, Ancient and Medieval, Byzantine, and Modern European history and cultures. AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian welcomed Mr. Hovannisian, who officially opened the collection and was presented with a hand-carved wooden box as a gift from Library Director Satenik Avakian. Richard Hovannisian is Professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History and First Holder of the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Southern California. A native of California, he received his M.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and Ph.D. in history from UCLA. Four days later, on October 14th, the American University of Armenia hosted a talk, entitled Conversation with Two Great Men of Education: Mihran S. Agbabian and Vartan Gregorian. The event was moderated by AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, who asked about their lives, careers and the future of AUA. Mihran Agbabian is President Emeritus of AUA and Professor Emeritus of Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC). He headed his own engineering consultancy firm, Agbabian Associates, for 20 years before joining USC as Chairman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. He received his M.S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1948 and his Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1951. Vartan Gregorian is the 12th president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Prior to that, he served as president of Brown University from 1989-1997, president of The New York Public Library from 1981-1989, and Tarzian Professor of History, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Provost of the University of Pennsylvania from 1972-1981. He received his Ph.D. in History and Humanities from Stanford University in 1964 and is the author of three books: The Road to Home: My Life and Times, Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith, and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946. He was born in Iran. The packed audience at AUA’s Manoogian Hall listened on as Mr. Agbabian and Mr. Gregorian told stories of their successes, failures and their experiences as foreigners in the United States. On that same day AUA honored Vartan Gregorian for donating his book collection to the AGBU Papazian Library. Mr. Gregorian has been donating books from his personal library to AUA since 2010, a mostly English-language collection which has now surpassed 600 titles. A plaque in honor of his generous donations was unveiled during the ceremony. Mr. Gregorian was personally present to cut the red tape and officially open his collection to the AUA community and public. AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian welcomed Mr. Gregorian to AUA, stating, “We truly believe our students will benefit from these books.” Mr. Gregorian, who has openly championed libraries throughout his career, stated, “It’s like giving away your children. It’s hard to part from your library of books. I’m sending most of them to Armenian institutions, and I’m happy to do that. A book that is not read is a dead book.”


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