Dr. Mary Papazian

Knights, Daughters to Hold Grand Convocation in Detroit This Summer


By Gloria Korkoian

DEARBORN, Mich. — The Knights and Daughters of Vartan will hold their annual convocation here from July 11 to 15. This will be the 100th convocation for the Knights of Vartan, which was established in 1916, and 78th convocation for the Daughters of Vartan, which was established in 1933.

The convocation meetings will be chaired by Grand Commander Dr. Gary Zamanigian of Bloomfield Hills, and Grand Matron Diana Tookmanian of Pasadena, Calif. Delegates and guests will come from across the US to deliberate and participate in workshops.

When asked to comment on the current work of the Knights of Vartan and the Knights of Vartan Communications Office in Yerevan,  Zamanigian stated, “The Knights of Vartan continues to provide assistance to many worthy projects, namely:  The Armenian Schools Support Project (ATDF/ASSP) World Bank 19:1 Program that helps numerous schools, students and teachers in Armenia;  the Knights of Vartan Funds for Armenian Studies (FAS) which benefits Armenian Scholars;  the University of Michigan Dearborn Knights of Vartan Armenian Research Center;  the Knights of Vartan Scholarship Program for students in the United States and in Armenia including the American University of Armenia (AUA). We initiated and co-sponsor the Annual New York Times Square Armenian Genocide Commemoration and through Fuller House, we fund the building of homes in Armenia.  In addition to our national programs, individual Lodges and Chapters have their projects which aid the people of Armenia and students in America.  This year, the Knights of Vartan Communications Office in Yerevan was staffed with a well-trained, multilingual, professional communications liaison.  Her name is Gohar Palyan and she has advanced computer and social networking skills, writing and graphic design skills and non-profit development experience.  She will be attending and she will be giving a presentation at our Convocation in Dearborn, Michigan July 11-15, 2018.”

The keynote speaker on Thursday, July 12 will be Taner Akçam, the well-known Turkish-German historian and sociologist. He was the Knights of Vartan Man of the Year in 2012. His new book, Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and The Armenian Genocide, was published in March. He will speak at 10:30 a.m. in the Desoto Room of the Edward Hotel.

This year, the Avak Tivan and Avak Khorhourt have selected two worthy individuals as Persons of the Year and Woman of the Year. They will be honored at the Grand Banquet on Saturday, July 14.

Garo Paylan

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Garo Paylan is a Turkish politician of Armenian descent. He is a Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) representing Istanbul. He became one of the first Armenian members of Turkey’s parliament in decades. After he was elected, Garo Paylan vowed to fight against Armenian Genocide denial and that the Armenian Genocide be acknowledged in Turkey. In April 2016, during a speech in parliament he made concerning the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Paylan counted the names of ethnic Armenian politicians who were deported then killed during the Armenian Genocide.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian, a seasoned leader with nearly 30 years of experience as a university professor, academic and administrative leader, joined San Jose State University as its 30th president on July 1, 2016. Before coming to SJSU, Dr. Papazian was president of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut. Previously, Papazian was the provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Lehman College of the City University of New York. She also served as the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Science at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she began her academic career as an assistant, associate and tenured professor of English.

The convocation will be hosted by Nareg-Shavarshan Lodge #6 and Zabelle Chapter #12. Nareg-Shavarshan Lodge has been serving the Detroit Metro Armenian community for 100 years. The host committee has planned the social events to incorporate historical, cultural and unique venues. The Motown Tour on Wednesday, July 11 will take guests to the many sites including the Motown Museum and Gomidas Statue in Detroit and the Alex & Marie Manoogian Museum in Southfield.

The Grand Commander and Grand Matron Meet & Greet Reception will take place on Thursday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m. In the evening, Detroit Under the Stars will be held in the Rotunda of the Edward Hotel, which offers a 360-degree view of Detroit, Canada the surrounding areas. It will feature a Strolling Dinner and music by the Detroit All Stars, a combo for a Motown experience. The Daughters of Vartan Luncheon will be held on Friday, July 13. Grand Matron Diana Tookmanian and Grand Officers will be the guests of honor.

Friday evening’s event, Knight of Kef at the Henry Ford Museum, features the Armenian All Star Band featuring Richard Hagopian, Hachig Kezerian, Mal Barsamian and Vaughn Masropian. Guests will dine and dance amid the museums’ rich collection of artifacts including a 1939 DC-3 airplane and vintage cars for a wonderful kef-filled evening.  The Convocation will end with the Grand Banquet on Saturday July 14th. The banquet honors the Grand Commander and Grand Matron and their officers. Members of the Detroit Hamazkayin Arax Dancers will perform traditional Armenian dances.

Visit www.grandconvo.com for detailed information.


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