With a sense of pride and renewed hope, Haigazian University celebrated its 66th Founders’ Day, hosting the United Nations Special Coordinator to Lebanon, Dr. Joanna Wronecka as guest speaker.
This auspicious ceremony took place on Monday 11 October 2021, in the hall of the First Armenian Evangelical Church, adjacent to University campus, in the presence of the Armenian Ambassador to Lebanon, H.E. Mr. Vahakn Atabekyan, Vice Governor of the Central Bank Alexander Mouradian, diplomats, board members, faculty, staff, students and guests.
In her keynote address Dr. Joanna Wronecka brought the audience together for an invigorating exchange of ideas and perspectives on the topic of “Accountability”. She considered this timely and critical topic “at the heart of our personal responsibility and the common good. It is the foundation stone for peaceful coexistence and for building a durable social contract”.
Wronecka tackled the different kinds of accountability, from personal accountability, to the workplace accountability to the accountability at the national level. Giving the example of the United Nations, Wronecka said that the concept is embedded in the United Nations Charter, whereby the UN is accountable to the member states and to all peoples, and that they are clear about the international standards of governance they set and the global example they give.
Speaking of Lebanon, Wronecka considered that accountability becomes more critical with the formation of the new government and its reform commitments to the Lebanese people and the international community. In this respect, she put critical importance on next year’s parliamentary elections to take place on time and in a fair and transparent way.
Wronecka also put particular emphasis on the judiciary and the application of the rule of law, as a pillar for accountability. “An effective and independent judiciary is critical for building trust, credibility, a functioning state, and political responsibility”, she added.
She concluded her message saying, “accountability is a value which must flow freely between us. It is a state of mind that we must actively nurture in ourselves and in our culture.”
For his part, University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian shared the values, vision, commitment and aspiration of the founders 66 years ago, in educating generations in the Middle East. “The dream was for every new generation to stand on the upright values of the highest standards of life and not simply of advanced academic learning. The dream was for each new generation surpass the former ones with intellectual, spiritual, ethical and professional standards,” said Haidostian.
Haidostian stressed on the importance of ethics, in addition to good and strong foundations in educating the youth to stand up after breakdowns and calamities. “Others can help and should help, but our discipline, our strong value system, our hard work, our selflessness, our learning curve, the good example we can set for others, as well as our service orientation are keys to good living and virtuous societies,” he noted.
Haidostian concluded his message by focusing more on values rather than undertakings, saying “We really hope each student will be a leader, an accomplished professional, and a person of high impact. But we hope to put dignity, honor and truth first and other levels of success will follow.”
The ceremony started with a prayer of invocation offered by the President of the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, Rev. Mgrdich Karagoezian. A special short video featured the milestones of the University for the past 66 years. Senior student Sarineh Rita Nercess delivered a speech on the Cedars of Lebanon and its symbol of resilience, immortality and holiness, whereas Music Club students Garen Kazandjian accompanied by Carmen Boyadjian on the piano graciously performed a song entitled “How Great Thou Art”.
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