Setrakian Gives Commencement Address at AGBU Alex & Marie Manoogian School

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — On June 1, the AGBU Alex & Marie Manoogian School here graduated its senior class, which received a total of $1.2 million in scholarships from universities.

Class Salutatorian Nina Ferhadson is a recipient of the AGBU Heritage scholarship and will be attending Central Michigan University in the fall.

AGBU President Berge Setrakian was the keynote speaker before an audience of 650 people.

Introducing Setrakian was the high school principal, Dr. Hosep Torossian, who began by saying that he was proud to have delivered on his promise of high-quality education to donors Richard Manoogian and Louise Manoogian Simone, who endowed the new high school building. “The first year we used the new building for our high school, we had our highest achieving senior class to date,” said Torossian. “We have provided excellent education in kind with this magnificent gift.”

The school principal welcomed Setrakian by explaining that his presence was a gift to the students, who were honored to have the AGBU president as their commencement speaker.

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“Continue to strengthen your ties and identity with your heritage and culture,” said Setrakian in his address. “You, our youth, are in fact the safeguards of our identity and we look to you to preserve our rich national heritage. AGBU has been a significant part of your lives for many years. You have spent long hours learning the Armenian language, culture, history and traditions. Many of you just two weeks ago returned from your visit to Armenia, experiencing the exhilaration and attachment that the touch of the motherland can ignite in you. We want you to continue that association to work with us through our programs designed for college students. Later, as you enter the next stage in your life, we want you to deepen your ties further through our Young Professionals organizations and through our wide range of projects in our homeland.”

The salutatorian of the graduation, Nina Ferhadson, is an AGBU Heritage scholarship recipient. In her speech, she said that the Alex & Marie Manoogian School was her second home for the 15 years that she was enrolled, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Ferhadson will attend Central Michigan University in the fall.

The senior class of 29 students gave the school the sum of $500, which they raised through various drives to help the next class travel to Armenia, as the graduating seniors did this May. During their stay in Armenia, the Manoogian students had an audience with Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, at the Holy See of Echmiadzin, visited Erebuni Museum, the temple of Garni, Lake Sevan, Geghard Monastery, Tsaghkadzor, Sardarapat, Mt. Aragats and the fortress of Ambert. They also laid flowers on the tomb of St. Mesrop Mashtots in Oshakan, paid tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Tsitsernakabert, and toured the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.

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