PALISADES PARK, N.J. — The Tibrevank Alumni, Inc. announces the new Vahan Ajemian Scholarship Fund, for students of Armenian descent who have completed one year of college by June.
The scholarship is named for Vahan Ajemian, a teacher who taught at Sourp Khatch Tibrevank in Istanbul, Turkey for many years and holds a very dear place in the hearts of all Tibrevanktsees. He is fondly and respectfully known to them as simply, “Baron.”
Ajemian was born in 1922 in Uskudar, Istanbul. His father was from the historic Armenian city of Sepastia, and his mother was from Bulgaria. They married in Bulgaria during World War I, became Bulgarian citizens and moved to Istanbul after the war ended. Ajemian’s Bulgarian nationality would later become an obstacle for him throughout his life.
Ajemian attended several Armenian schools in Istanbul and graduated from Getronagan Armenian High School. He majored in physics and chemistry at Istanbul University and received a master’s degree in nuclear physics from the Technical University of Istanbul.
He began his teaching career in 1956 at the Sourp Khatch Tibrevank, on the encouragement and invitation of the Very Rev. Karekin Kazanjian, who served as principal at the time, and later as patriarch of the Armenian See of Istanbul. Later, Ajemian went on to work at the Sahakyan and Esayan Armenian High Schools. He taught mathematics, physics and chemistry until his retirement. He now lives in Paris, France.
Ajemian is loved and remembered by all of his past students but he holds a very special place in the hearts of all Tibrevanktsees. Besides being an excellent teacher, he was a role model, big brother and best friend to all his students. The special relationship with his Tibrevanktsee students is due to Tibrevank being a boarding school, where deeper relationships were formed within the school community. He kept in touch with his students after their graduation and still continues the relationship today, even though some of them are now grandparents. He has come to know his students’ children and then even their grandchildren. He believes in maintaining strong family bonds and friendships.