San Francisco Bay Area AUA Supporters Welcome Dr. Bruce Boghosian

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OAKLAND, Calif. — About 50 Bay Area supporters of the American University of Armenia gathered at the home of Stephan and Sylvia Melikian on the evening of Saturday, October 23 to welcome incoming American University of Armenia (AUA) President Dr. Bruce Boghosian and his wife, Laura Boghosian. The event was hosted by the Melikians and by Francois and Suzy Antounian, long-time supporters of the university.

In opening the evening, AUA’s vice president of Development and Government Relations, Bruce Janigian, expressed his gratitude to the hosts for opening their home to celebrate the growth and development of the university.

UC Berkeley professor, Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, a founder of AUA and a member of its Board of Trustees, introduced Boghosian and his wife to the guests.

Boghosian, who had just returned from Yerevan after spending nearly two months at his new post, summarized the core programs and activities at the university. He described the hard work and dedication of the university’s employees and students, as well as the benefits of the American style of graduate education.

AUA is one of the most visible American presences in Armenia, providing educational opportunities that are largely complementary to those of the country’s other universities.

The event was attended by numerous Bay Area AUA alumni, who conveyed the pivotal role that AUA played in their lives and careers. They all shared the view that the establishment of the university in Yerevan was one of the most important and significant investments in Armenia’s recent history.

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Marine Gouchian, an AUA School of Business and Management graduate and currently a certified public accountant, emphasized the need for active engagement by alumni to shape the future of AUA. “I really hope that AUA supporters are not discouraged that some of the graduates leave Armenia in pursuit of other opportunities,” said Gouchian. “I assure you, that wherever we go, we are the ambassadors of our country with continued involvement in Armenian affairs. We do everything in our power to promote and assist Armenian causes. Armenia only becomes stronger when its people are strong, regardless of where they live.” In fact, statistics indicate that more than 80 percent of AUA graduates remain in Armenia.

Now an attorney in the states of New York and California, Evelina Manukyan, a Law Department graduate of AUA, emphasized that AUA teaches its law students that a solid and transparent legal system is the backbone of every developed society. She indicated that this should be the true goal of a legal education, rather than merely learning to navigate through an existing legal system.

Dr. Arsen Tonoyan, a graduate of AUA’s College of Engineering and a Principal Engineer at Dassault Systems Simulia Corporation in California, expressed his confidence that mechanical engineering can play a crucial role in Armenia’s development.

Informal, congenial discussions among AUA supporters, trustees and alumni continued throughout the evening.

Donations in support of the American University of Armenia can be sent to the American University of Armenia Corporation at 300 Lakeside Drive, 12th floor, Oakland, CA 94612.

The American University of Armenia Corporation (AUAC) is registered as a non-profit educational organization in the United States and is affiliated with the Regents of the University of California. Receiving major support from the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), AUA offers American-accredited instruction leading to masters degree in eight graduate programs. For more information about AUA, visit www.aua.am.

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