WASHINGTON — Armenian Assembly of America longtime trustee Elizabeth Agbabian, a respected leader in the Armenian American community, was awarded the Movses Khorenatsi Medal last month by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on the 99th anniversary of the First Republic.
In a written statement, President Sargsyan stated: “I decided to award E. Agbabian with the Movses Khorentsi Medal on the occasion of our national holiday for her outstanding work in the preservation of the Armenian nation.”
The medal is Armenia’s highest cultural award, which is given to individuals who are actively engaged in the development of Armenian culture, in addition to achievements in art, literature, education, social sciences, and sports.
The Armenian Embassy in Washington, DC put out a statement describing Agbabian as “one of the most active and respected leaders in the Armenian-American community.” It continued: “We extend to Mrs. Agbabian and Dr. Mihran Agbabian our heartfelt congratulations and profound respects.”
Elizabeth Agbabian, alongside her husband, Dr. Mihran Agbabian, played a critical role in establishing the American University of Armenia, an educational institution which is considered to be one of the best in the nation. They were supportive of many groundbreaking initiatives on the West Coast, including the opening of Armenia’s Consulate General in Los Angeles. She is also one of the co-founders of the Armenian International Women’s Association in Los Angeles (AIWA-LA), a nonprofit organization, dedicated to promoting and enriching “the social, economic and personal advancement of Armenian women worldwide through educational and other community activities that unite Armenian women, promote gender equity, and emphasize our Armenian cultural heritage.”
Agbabian has earned many awards over the years. She received the Humanitarian Award of Ararat Home of Los Angeles in 1994, proclamation of Pontifical Blessings from Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II in 2003, Tribute Certificate of Appreciation from the Board of the Armenian Missionary Association of America in 2003, Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2006, and The Agbabians have been members of the Assembly since its beginnings. Elizabeth Agbabian served on the Assembly’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 1999. Her husband, Dr. Agbabian, was co-chair of the Assembly from 1982-1983 and served on the Board of Directors from 1979-1986. She hosted many events in Los Angeles, and her consistent efforts have helped expand the Assembly’s membership base in Southern California. Along with her colleagues Flora Dunaians and Savey Tufenkian, Elizabeth Agbabian was honored during the 40th anniversary gala with the Distinguished Humanitarian Award for her dedicated service to the Assembly.