Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Donate $11 Million to AGBU Pasadena Center and High School


PASADENA, Calif. — In a singular act of kindness, longtime AGBU benefactors Vatche and Tamar Manoukian have donated $11 million to the AGBU Pasadena High School and Center in Southern California. The gift was announced by AGBU President Berge Setrakian during the Saturday, October 17, gala of the AGBU Southern California District Committee (SCDC) at the Sheraton Universal in Studio City, which welcomed close to 500 people.

The gala was attended by AGBU President Berge Setrakian and his wife, Vera; Rep. Adam Schiff (D); Chairman and CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corporation Ray Irani; AGBU Central Board Members, including Carol Aslanian, Aris Atamian, Yervant Demirjian, Sam Simonian, Berge Papazian, Sinan Sinanian and Judge Dickran Tevrizian, Yervant Zorian, SCDC Chair Berge Shahbazian and members
of the SCDC Board.

This annual event celebrates the success of SCDC’s activities in Southern California, and honors those who have made a substantial impact on the region’s large Armenian-American community. This year’s honorees, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian of London, England, are longtime benefactors and the AGBU Center and High School in Pasadena will be renamed in their honor.

The AGBU Pasadena Complex is the center of the organization’s activities in the region. In addition to the three-year-old AGBU High School Pasadena, which has over 120 students and athletic facilities that host hundreds of youths every weekend, the AGBU Pasadena Center is home to the organization’s many cultural and educational programs, including the Ardavazt Theater Company, Generation Next Mentorship Program, Hye Geen, Sardarabad Dance Ensemble and the Young Professionals of Los Angeles.

On Friday, October 16, members of the AGBU Central Board arrived in Los Angeles. In the morning, the group, accompanied by
Shahbazian and SCDC members, traveled to the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park, which offers K-12 instruction
to over 800 students. During their visit, they toured classrooms and the new Artemis Nazarian Pre-School facilities, familiarized
themselves with the high school’s cutting-edge robotics program and joined the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization for a
specially prepared luncheon.

In the afternoon, AGBU Central Board and SCDC members paid a courtesy visit to Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of
the of the Armenian Church of North America (Western Diocese) and Joseph Kanimian, chairman of the Diocesan Council
of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. They toured the new cathedral, which is expected to be completed in June 2010, and dedicated by Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, in September. The building will house a small
museum and classrooms for Sunday school instruction.

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That evening, Central Board and SCDC leaders met with local AGBU chapter and committee chairs to discuss the organization’s
recent statement of support for the Protocols for the Process of Normalization of Relations between Armenia and Turkey,
which were officially signed on October 10, in Zurich, Switzerland.

After the meeting, participants adjourned to the Bardez restaurant in the Pasadena Center Complex, and continued their discussion
about issues of interest to local Armenian Americans.

Saturday night’s Gala at Sheraton Universal was the pinnacle of a weekend that included a meeting of the AGBU Central Board on Saturday morning and smaller meetings with community leaders who are working to improve the quality of life for local Armenian Americans.

The event was emceed by Vahe Charkutian and featured speeches by SCDC Special Events Committee Chair Hermine Janoyan,
Shahbazian, Setrakian, remarks by guest of honor Vatche Manoukian and words by Archbishop Derderian, who relayed the blessing
of Catholicos Karekin II.

During his speech, the AGBU president lauded the Manoukians for their strong dedication to the values that form the cornerstone
of the Armenian community. “Vatche and Tamar, both of whom were born into families with strong Armenian values, have
achieved a dream life with a warm family of their own, financial success and unsparing philanthropy, all the while perpetuating and
promoting the Armenian values which were inculcated in them by their parents.” He announced their $11-million donation and
extended his gratitude on behalf of AGBU to the couple and the impact their charity will have on the lives of future generations of

Karekin II’s message outlined the long history of philanthropy that the Manoukians have bestowed on the Armenian community,
“Vatche and Tamar Manoukian’s names are cherished in the diaspora as well as in the hearts of all Armenians in the motherland.
The lives of our future generations should be positively affected by the generosity of our benefactors, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian.”

In honor of the Manoukians, the AGBU Pasadena Center will be renamed the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Center and the AGBU High School Pasadena will also bear their names. In addition to the Manoukians’ donation, the SCDC Gala raised $400,000, including a gift of $160,000 from the Turpanjian Family Education Foundation of California.

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