WATERTOWN, Mass. — On Sunday, November 29, St. James Armenian Church formally unveiled the new exterior sign of the St. James Charles Mosesian Cultural and Youth Center, located at 465 Mt. Auburn St., at the corner of Mt. Auburn and School streets. After the formal unveiling, a reception in honor of Mosesian was held in Keljik Hall of the cultural center now bearing his name.
Charles Mosesian — a dedicated philanthropist and life-long parishioner of St. James — committed a gift of $1 million to the St. James Armenian Church of Watertown, and its 75th Anniversary Capital Campaign, already having fulfilled more than half of this pledge. In honor of Mosesian’s contribution, the St. James Cultural and Youth Center was named the St. James Charles Mosesian Cultural and Youth Center.
In spring 2009, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern), presented Mosesian with an Encyclical and the Medal of St. Gregory the Illuminator from Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. In presenting the award, Barsamian stated: “We know you to be a man of strong character and an extremely hard-working individual. You have worked hard, loved your family, and have always helped others, including the Armenian Church and the community. In recognition of your generosity it is my honor to present to you this Encyclical and the Medal of St. Gregory the Illuminator, which is the highest honor that is bestowed in the Armenian Church.”
Mosesian’s contribution will help St. James realize many of its goals, which were identified in the parish’s 75th Anniversary Strategic Plan. This includes the renovation of the cultural center, where the children and youth of St. James gather, play sports and attend classes, and where St. James parishioners come together in fellowship.
Charlie Mosesian has been involved with St. James throughout its history, and was one of the original godfathers of the Cultural Center. He shares his belief “that after the Genocide, it was the Armenian Church that kept Armenians together.” His daughter, Charleen Onanian, explains the inspiration for his gift to St. James: “He wanted to make sure that the children, who are our future, grow up to be caring and compassionate, and involved and dedicated to Armenian causes.”
Mosesian is best known as a real-estate developer. He began developing buildings in the 1960s and he built the first high-rise condominium in the Watertown area in 1972. In the 1980s, he built two luxury condo buildings along the Charles River – Charles River Towers and Horizon East. Throughout his career as a developer, he built over 700 housing units. Philanthropy has always been a large part of his life. He started the Charles Mosesian Family Foundation in order to give back to his community. He has supported numerous schools and organizations. In 2000, Mosesian gave $1 million to the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, the center’s largest-single gift. In recognition of this gift, the 380-seat venue has been named the Charles Mosesian Theatre. He has also funded the Charles Mosesian Family Foundation Fund for Armenian Studies at UConn, and The Charles Mosesian Boston University Medical Center and Republic of Armenia Medical Partnership Program. Mosesian is also a major supporter of the Armenian Assembly of America as a life member.