Papken Megerian Receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor

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By Florence Avakian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator

ELLIS ISLAND, N.Y. — With his family watching proudly, entrepreneur and philanthropist
Papken Megerian was one of 104 distinguished recipients, (including eight other Armenian-Americans) of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on Saturday, May 12 at Ellis Island at its 26th annual ceremony.

This award is given yearly to individuals who “represent the very essence of the American way of life, having greatly contributed to its national identity while preserving the distinct values and heritage of their ancestors, individuals who took the American dream from just a hope and made it a reality.”

As his wife, Anahid, and son, Dr. Garo Megerian, watched, Papken Megerian’s joy was palpable. “I feel so deeply honored, and am so proud of my fellow recipients. They all deserve this honor. It has given me the inspiration to contribute even more to the Armenian nation, the Armenian community and organizations,” he said.

Megerian’s distinguished record speaks for itself. A prominent businessman and CEO of the Advanced MRI Center, he came with his wife in 1978 to the United States from Aleppo, Syria, where he was born to Armenian parents who escaped the Armenian Genocide. In his new land, he quickly rose in the financial field, becoming vice president of Philadelphia’s Fidelity Bank, managing the international banking department. In 1978, he launched anindependent career, which included owning and operating several businesses. He is the managing partner of a real estate investment company, 3 MB Partnership L.P., as well as a shareholder and treasurer of Four Meg Inc.

Devotion to Church, Community And Nation

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His record of service to his people is just as exemplary. Megerian and his wife are cofoundersof the Papken and Anahid Megerian Family Foundation, which supports causes in the US, Armenia, Artsakh, Echmiadzin, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Diocesan Center in Javakhk, Georgia and Our Lady of Armenia Boghossian Educational Center in Gumri. He is also a contributor to the international children’s anophthalmia/ microphtalmia network, the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Armenian Mirror-Spectator.

Currently the treasurer of the Diocesan Council, he has been a diocesan delegate to the Diocesan Assembly for the past 24 years. A 44-year member with his wife in the St.
Sahag and St. Mesrob Church of Wynnewood, Penn., he has served as chairman
and treasurer.

Megerian’s active leadership in many Armenian organizations is well known. He is the co-chair of the ADL (Ramgavar) District Committee of the eastern US and Canada, and serves on the Central Committee of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the US and Canada. He is also a trustee of the Society of Orphaned Armenia Relief and a longtime member of the AGBU and the Knights of Vartan.

Papken and Anahid Megerian have donated as well as raised funds for countless cultural, educational and religious purposes, including Birthright Armenia and the Guiliguian Educational Association, frequently hosting events in their home.

In the last 10 years, Megerian has visited Armenia 25 times for purposes of business, philanthropy and culture. In recognition of Megerian’s support, Catholicos of All
Armenians Karekin I decorated him with the St. Nerses Shnorhali Medal with a pontifical encyclical in 1998. This was followed in 2009 with Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II
awarding him with the St. Gregory the Illuminator Medal and encyclical, the highest honor of the Armenian Church.

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