Mirror-Spectator Gala Attracts Glittering Crowd Awards Given out to Veteran Bentley Leader Adamian, Journalists Shamlian and Mahtesian


By Alin K. Gregorian

Mirror-Spectator Staff

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — About 250 supporters gathered on Thursday, May 24 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston, to help the Armenian Mirror-Spectator celebrate its 80th anniversary with a program that paid tribute to its past, present and future.

During the program, emceed by Carolyn Atinizian-Yardemian, which raised about $80,000 gross for the maintenance and operation of the newspaper, as well as its technology expansion plans, three people were honored. Dr. Gregory Adamian, the retired longtime president of Bentley University — in fact the person who has allowed Bentley to be a university instead of a college, was able to attend the program, despite suffering from poor health recently. He received the newspaper’s lifetime achievement award. Adamian, who was controlling his emotions with difficulty, spoke about his illustrious career. However, he reserved his highest praise for his wife, Debbie, whom he credited with saving his life after he suffered a heart attack earlier in the month, after attending the Diocesan Assembly in Springfield, MA.

Receiving awards of excellence were NBC News correspondent Janet Shamlian and Politico national political editor Charles Mahtesian.

Shamlian spoke about how happy she was to be back within the fold of the Armenian community. The mother-of-five, who lives in Houston, said she wished her father were alive to see how she and her sister, who lost their mother as teens, had succeeded in the field she had always loved. She spoke about her circuitous and improbable journey from a local correspondent to housewife to a national correspondent for NBC. She said she would watch newscasts obsessively, correcting reporters both in terms of grammar and content, often talking to the television set, much to the amusement of her husband. “Now when I talk to Matt Lauer, he actually answers back,” she said.

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Mahtesian spoke about the need for hard work and discipline that his father instilled in him, saying that these are Armenian qualities. These qualities, he said, enabled him to strive for better and better positions, and to attend law school while working full-time. He said he would always remember his father’s motto when suffering because of hard work and that he would propel himself ahead. He also recalled warmly the Armenian Sisters’ Academy in Philadelphia. In closing, he said, “Now I know how Mitt Romney feels in Utah,” much to the delight of the audience.

The keynote address was originally scheduled to be delivered by Vigen A. Sargsyan, chief of staff to President Serge Sargisian of Armenia. However, as President Sargisian did not come to the US, as planned, to attend the Chicago gathering for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members and their affiliated states, including Armenia, Sargsyan could not come either. The president stayed away from the conference, as all attendees were to sign a document regarding respecting member states’ territorial integrity. If Armenia had signed it, it would have signaled that Karabagh was ready to go back under Azeri rule.

Instead, Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan spoke, stressing that the Mirror-Spectator is not 80 years old, but “60 plus 20,” the latter the number of years that Armenia has been an independent republic. She praised the diasporan organs and organizations for keeping ties with their homeland and urged the Diaspora’s support in maintaining a land that few had thought they would see in their lifetimes.

Edmond Azadian, the co-chair of Baikar Association, Inc., expressed his deep love for the newspaper, with which he has been affiliated upwards of five decades. In the past decade, he has been the regular weekly commentator. He recalled working with and knowing every editor of the newspaper, including the founding editor, Elisha Chrakian (the father of longtime supporter who has volunteered her services to the paper for decades, Barbara Tellalian), through former editor Barbara Merguerian, who was in attendance, and the current editor, Alin K. Gregorian. He praised the staff for their dedication and expressed his hopes for another 80 years.

Opening the program was June Hatfield, chair of the committee organizing the program, who thanked the hosts of the evening , Nishan and Margrit Atinizian Family Foundation. At the end Azadian called also Nishan and Margrit Atinizian to the stage and awarded them with a glass bowl from Tiffany’s for their gesture.

In addition to Azadian, attending the program were Armenia’s ambassador to the United Nations Garen Nazarian; chairman of the ADL Press Committee Hagop Vartivarian and the Baikar Association, Inc. co-chairman Papken Megerian.

Several guests, including Jack Pini, executive director of the university, represented Bentley University.

In addition to the speakers, a young violinist, Haig Hovsepian of Belmont, performed two pieces, accompanied by is mother, Ani, on the piano, receiving thunderous applause.

Previous recipients of awards from the Mirror-Spectator were ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian, the Improper Bostonian publisher Wendy Semonian, chief investigative correspondent for CBS News Armen Keteyan and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Kurkjian.

The members of the Celebration Committee were: Carolyn Atinizian-Yardemian and Johnny Yardemian, Nigoghos and Roset Atinizian, Ara Balikian, Nageeb Diarbakerly, Dr. Nishan and Mary Goudsouzian, Michael Guleserian, June Hatfield, Carol and Richard Ishkanian, Dr. Parnag and Nancy Kasarjian, Henry Hagopian III, Kevork Marashlian, Gary and Hasmig Mardiros, Mark McKertich, Souren and Lisa Maserejian, Jeanmarie Papelian, Hasmik Saroyan and Barbara Tellalian.

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