Haidostian: “The main challenge of higher education is how we can connect depth of knowledge to the training of the heart”
Haigazian University’s 60th Anniversary Gala Dinner, a rousing success for itself, was held on Thursday the 7th of May, 2015, in the Grand Ballroom of the Phoenicia Intercontinental Hotel, Beirut-Lebanon.
The ballroom glittered with the presence of a capacity audience that crossed 430 people. In attendance were many Lebanese officials, Members of Parliament, US and Armenian ambassadors, former ministers, religious leaders, heads of foundations, bankers, representatives of the Municipality of Beirut and Bourj Hammoud, University Board of Trustees from the United States, the AMAA leadership, American Church delegations, political parties’ representatives, and a full complement of deans, faculty, staff and alumni.
On this auspicious occasion, plaques of recognition were bestowed upon foundations and institutions for their major and long term support and partnership with Haigazian University, such as the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), the Stephen Philibosian Foundation, the Global Ministries of the Christian Church and the United Church of Christ in the USA, and the United States Agency for Development (USAID). Also medals were presented to the Sirpuhie and Conte Foundation, the Marash Compatriotic Union, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), the Walid Joumblatt Foundation, and the Goguikian Foundation for providing financial assistance to Haigazian students. In addition, a tribute was made to the late Haig Boyajian whose estate was graciously awarded to the University three years ago.
In his keynote address, University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian expressed his joy of celebrating “60 years of good education in an atmosphere of friendship, tolerance, and harmony in a country and region where religio-political fanaticism, instability and marketism prevail.” Haidostian also acknowledged the vision of the founders in laying solid foundations for the future generations, the fact that “cultural exchange and difference of background could be a recipe for advancement” and that Haigazian has been “home for the Lebanese wealth of civilization, for Armenian resilience, for American values of voluntarism, and for Evangelical sincerity.” He concluded by tackling the challenges of higher education in modern times; “the main challenge in higher education is how we can connect depth of knowledge and the training of the heart, the excellence in grades and the neatness of diplomas with all that is outside the campus,” Haidostian said.
The Executive Director/ CEO of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), Mr. Zaven Khanjian, congratulated the 60 years of Haigazian University in shaping the future of new generations, and renewed the commitment of the AMAA in supporting the University in its mission in the Middle East, the one of fighting ignorance and darkness and spreading light and peace, human coexistence and brotherly love.
It is worth noting that the evening was beautifully animated by the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Arda Ekmekji as the MC. Renowned opera singer Arax Chekijian brought her generous participation by singing 3 songs, Aria Di Lauretta by Puccini, Romance from Gayane by Choukhadjian, and Arax River by Mazmanian. She was graciously accompanied by Haigazian alumna Annie Balabanian on the piano. The famous pop jazz singer Zaruhi Babayan and her band from Armenia, elevated the mood of the audience into even higher levels of joy and happiness.
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