CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — For the past 12 years the Knights of Vartan (K of V) has annually awarded scholarships to students attending the Yerevan State University (YSU) and the State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA) based on need and academic achievement. To date approximately 500 students have benefited from these K of V scholarships, totaling approximately $50,000.
In October, Saro Khachikian, a member of the Cambridge, Mass. Ararat Lodge of the K of V, visited the two universities, met with the awardees and personally dispersed the 2009-2010 funds to them, offering congratulations and best wishes of the K of V. Khachikian sent the following report:
YSU is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. There were young college students strolling in the beautifully landscaped college grounds with many statutes of notable people. The structure is an attractive Soviet era multi-story building that has a commanding presence.
Ararat Malkhasyan, the University Provost, made a presentation in the auditorium on the origins and history of the Knights of Vartan. I thanked him, spoke a few words about the purpose of this scholarship, then moved right into delivering $2,400 to bright and deserving students. The provost and a student, on behalf of the awardees, thanked the K of V for their generosity.
The next day we went to the SEUA. Rector Vostanik Marukhyan received us very warmly, where the recipients and several college professors were waiting for the scholarship awards. I presented an overview of the K of V with some past and current examples of our humanitarian projects in Armenia. As the program chairperson read the names of each student, I handed a white envelope one by one, dispersing $2,400. When it was over I congratulated the students and offered words of encouragement from the K of V. One of the students, speaking for the group thanked the K of V for its generous assistance as did the university rector and the event was concluded.
Having witnessed the joy on the faces of the scholarship recipients provided me a with a perspective which I would like to share. I can say that scholarship funds that are sent to Armenia by the K of V, though they may seem to be modest amounts, are not only appreciated but also do provide monetary assistance that most students need in these difficult times. I would like to congratulate each and every delegate who has ever voted for the K of V Armenia College Scholarship Fund for their wise decision. It was very clear that these students were truly in need. If we are to learn from history and look at Japan, Germany and other countries that were devastated by World War II, it was an educated society that helped them rebuild and get them where they are today. If we look at Armenia yesterday and today, there is no shortage of talent. These young students are the Knights and Daughters of our nation and supporting their education is a good investment for the diaspora.