Haigazian University 50th anniversary Celebrations with the Women''s Auxiliary (Los Angeles)
The December 7, 2005 Gala Banquet, in the rooftop garden room of the Universal Sheraton Hotel brought guests from near and far to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Haigazian University and to hear the message of Former Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian, Founding Director of the James Baker Institute of Public Policy at Rice University, who was enthusiastically introduced by Dr. . Richard Dekmejian, Political Science professor and director of the newly established USC Institute of Armenian Studies. The event alsO commemorated the 42nd anniversary of Haigazian University Women's Auxiliary of Los Angeles.
In attendance was Mrs. Anahis Derian who, with her husband Henry, pledged the largest single donation of the 50th anniversary, $500,000 , through the Armenian Missionary Association of America, for future building needs and the Armenian Library. To honor the Derians for their generosity, the Armenian Library will be named the Derian Library.
On behalf of the Auxiliary and the Honorary Chairs, Auxiliary President Joyce Stein welcomed all the guests and introduced her husband, Master of Ceremonies Joe Stein, designated by AIM Magazine as "Armenian by Choice."
Mr. Stein poignantly began the program with a moment of silence in remembrance of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor exactly 64 years earlier and the devastating 1988 Armenian earthquake 17 years ago to the day.
The opening prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. John Khanjian, immediate former President of Haigazian University with words of thankfulness to Haigazian for preparing leaders in the Middle East.
Charter members of the Auxiliary, Elizabeth Agbabian and Suzie Phillips were recognized, as well as Maggie Matossian, founder of the Women''s Auxiliary in Beirut.
Music was proposed by the talented Lark singers conducted by the accomplished maestro, Haigazian graduate Vatche Barsoumian.
Winner of the drawing for a rare reproduction of Hovsep Pushman''s "Dream Pastures" were Dr. Hrair and Mary Atikian.
In his introduction to Ambassador Djerejian, Dr. Dekmejian explained how difficult it is, first to become a foreign service officer, and then to become aN ambassador.
He stressed on the Ambassador''s critical work in the peace process and security arrangements in the Middle East. "My students should see him as a model to emulate and to go into government service."
The Ambassador praised Haigazian University, which he said, "has played A critical and great role in education in the Middle East." He was presented with a proclamation conferred by California State Assemblyman Chuck Poochiguian.
Herair Mouradian, President of the Haigazian Board of Trustees, congratulated Haigazian on "surviving 15 years of war, relocating three times, and adapting successfully through difficult circumstances." He commended the U.S. and Middle East founders of Haigazian and the Los Angeles Women''s Auxiliary, which has raised one million dollars for the University during its 42-year mission.