Haigazian University's 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner
Agbabian: Haigazian University strives to be a vital force in the forward momentum of Lebanon.
Haigazian University's fiftieth Anniversary Gala Dinner, a rousing success for itself, was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Phoenicia Intercontinental hotel, on Wednesday the 29th of June, 2005.
The Grand Ballroom glittered with the presence of around 400 guests, including President Paul Haidostian, former presidents, Board of Trustees, Members of Parliament, former ministers, head of the Armenian religious communities, the Armenian Ambassador, the deputy ambassador of the US embassy, and a full complement of deans, professors, staff and alumni.
After the Lebanese Anthem and the Haigazian Alma Mater, the Master of Ceremony, Dean Arda Ekmekji, invited former president, Dr. John Khanjian to offer a word of prayer.
The AMAA's word was delivered by its President, Dr. Hrair Aharonian, and a testimony of encouragement from His Holiness Aram I, was read by his Grace, Bishop Kegham Khatcherian.
In his turn, President Haidostian welcomed the audience, and delivered a speech. "in other words, we are saying today, that the rich heritage and spirit of excellence and community service of Haigazian needs to be uncovered further. It is time to openly celebrate, and together celebrate not only an anniversary but an educational service", Haidostian pointed out.
Several recognitions took place during the ceremony, whereupon President Haidostian, recognized the generous contribution of some organizations in providing the opportunity for countless students to pursue higher education. A token of appreciation was presented to the representatives of the following institutions, the Armenian Missionary Association of America, the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Scholarship Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Stephen Philibosian Foundation, the Armenian Fund for Health Insurance in Lebanon, the Common Global Ministries Board of the United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ ?USA, and the Union of Marash Armenians-Lebanon.
In his keynote address, Dr. Mihran Agbabian, President Emeritus of the
American University of Armenia, took the audience in a few minutes on a peripatetic journey through the United States, Lebanon, Ottoman Turkey and Armenia. "Higher education at Haigazian is the sum total of the best qualities of higher education in historical Armenia, the early years in the United States, the missionaries and the Armenians of Ottoman Turkey, and the fertile soil of Lebanon that has welcomed institutions of higher learning", considered Agbabian.
Agbabian added, "Haigazian University strives to be a vital force in the forward momentum of Lebanon. The University understands the importance of its location in Lebanon. Fifty years ago Haigazian University was created on a very strong foundation. Its mission has not changed since its founding days: to provide a quality education in a Christian environment preparing students to become citizens with a sense of social responsibility. And this will sustain it for years to come".
The program also featured a 10 minute video documentary projection, representing Haigazian University today, and its future projects.
Ms. Houry Apartian of Aleppo, accompanied by Arthur Satyan on keyboard sang beautiful musical selections, while Miss Shake Avanessian Major of London, highlighted the 50 year journey of Haigazian University by presenting 3 dances: Giligia, especially choreographed for the 50th Anniversary of Haigazian, pays homage to the homeland of virtually every Armenian Lebanese, Dzirani Dzar ( The Apricot Tree), which represents the seeds planted fifty years ago have grown into a strong and beautifully branched tree, which has roots in both the Armenian heritage and the soil of Lebanon, and Dzaghgats Baleni (The Blossoming Cherry Tree), which represents the 50 year generation of Lebanese youth whom spread the fruits of Haigazian around the world.
After this cultural interlude, Dean Ekmekji appealed to the audience to support the future buildings project of Haigazian University.
Founding President of Haigazian University, Dr. John Markarian, Chairwoman of the Philibossian Foundation, Mrs. Joyce Stein, and the Mayor of Beirut, Mr. Abdel Mene?m Ariss, shared with the crowd, some greetings and nostalgic memories. The Mayor presented to President Haidostian a plaque of appreciation on behalf of the city of Beirut.
Towards the end of the banquet, the 3 presidents of Haigazian University, Markarian, Khanjian and Haidostian, cut the celebratory cake.
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