On Monday, the 14th of October, 2019, Haigazian University celebrated its 64th Founders’ Day, with a renewed faith and commitment to the University’s core values of “Truth, Freedom and Service”. The guest speaker of this auspicious ceremony was the President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, Rev. Mgrdich Karagoezian.
The ceremony was attended by political, diplomatic, religious, educational and community leaders, in addition to members of the Board of Trustees, the Business Advisory Board and the Women’s Auxiliary, University faculty and staff and a large host of students. Present were current Members of Parliament, Hagop Pakradouni and Gen. Jean Talouzian, former MP Dr. Bassem Shabb and former ministers Jean Oghasabian and Vrej Sabounjian, Public Affairs Officer of the US Embassy Kristina Hayden, and Acting General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches, Dr. Surayya Bachaalani.
In his keynote address, Rev. Karagoezian praised Haigazian’s founders, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE), for the values they stood for 64 years ago, with strong acts of “faith, vision and commitment.” Those values are summed up in three words, which constitute the University’s motto: Truth, Freedom and Service. In their daring and bold venture of establishing an institution of higher learning, the founders wanted “to bring forth balance in the lives of persons, institutions and communities with the values they themselves lived by”, said Karagoezian.
Elaborating more on Truth, Freedom and Service, Karagoezian said, “there are no shortcuts to the Truth, it has to be sought after diligently and sincerely; there are no partialities in Freedom, it has to be whole and responsible; there are no pretenses to Service, it has to be dedicated and faithful.”
Speaking about Education in general and Higher Education in particular, University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, focused on the notions of hope, humility and sharing. “A university is a society of humility and sharing; humility so that we may accept our limitations and learn; sharing so that we may teach each other and learn from each other for the good of all,” said Haidostian. He reiterated the vision and commitment of the founders to educating generations in the Middle East, making sure they don’t succumb to limitation and conflict, but instead be positive players. “Your future is not dictated by the limitations and the shortcomings of those others. Your future is dictated by how you break new ground, and faithfully fill the gaps of your world with things that are healthy, helpful, and sustainable,” Haidostian concluded.
The ceremony started with a prayer of invocation offered by the Campus Minister, Rev. Dr. Wilbert Van Saane, and was musically entertained by student Carmen Boyadjian on the piano, who played “Gakhartagan Srink” by Alan Hovhannes, and vocalist Nazani Atamian graciously singing John Lennon’s “Imagine”, accompanied by Garen Kazanjian on the piano. The University’s motto, “Truth, Freedom and Service”, was conveyed with testimonies of students from Spiritual Life, Hope for Helpers and Extreme Team, each evoking their experiences and campaigns for various causes.
The ceremony concluded with President Haidostian along with Trustee John Sagherian presenting a token of appreciation to Rev. Karagoezian, for his steadfast support of the University and its mission.
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