CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Ararat Lodge No. 1 of the Knights of Vartan and Arpie Otyag (Chapter) No. 9 held their annual high school graduation recognition and scholarship award ceremony on June 12 in Talanian Hall at Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church of Cambridge. Twenty students graduating from high school were honored along with four college students receiving scholarships.
Ararat Lodge Sbarabed Argishti Chaparian spoke and participated in the ceremonies. Arpie Chapter Dirouhie Dr. Knarik Arkun provided words of encouragement to the new graduates, while Arpie Chapter Nakhgin Dirouhie [Former Matron] Anahid Mardiros spoke about the book The City of Orphans: Relief Workers, Commissars and the “Builders of the New Armenia,” Alexandropol/Leninakan 1919-1931, by Dr. Nora Nercessian, which the Arpie Chapter gave the graduates. She pointed out that it is important for the graduates, and all Armenians in general, to know about these sad chapters in Armenian history.
The evening included two keynote speakers, Dr. Julie Gulesserian, who provided information on the Armenian Diaspora Survey funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and administered by the Armenian Institute of London, and Harry Glorikian, a well known entrepreneur and global business expert.
Asbed Vartan Soukiasian introduced Glorikian as a speaker who will inspire the new graduates. Glorikian did not fail to deliver. He used his family story, starting with the Genocide and several family emigrations, to show how success is possible through hard work. He stressed that students should not be afraid to take risks and welcome change, because even failure can open doors to new paths to success.
The high school graduates came up to receive several gifts, including a certificate of recognition of their achievements from Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian. Their photographs alongside Sbarabed Chaparian were taken by Asbed David Medzorian, photographer of Ararat Lodge No.1, and proud parents often went up to join their child in the photograph.
Kourken Aroyan has been head of the scholarship committee for the last year. The college students who received scholarships are Alexander Avakian, Alec, Tina and Andre Kotikian, and Garen Soukiasian (Tina Kotikian was unable to be present). The names of the 2018 high school graduates are Sevag Aboyan, Alex Abrahamyan, Nicole Akhian, Kevork Atinizian, Nishan Avedikian, David Belorian. Katrena Daldalian, Julie Der Torossian, Alique Fisher, Melanie Halibian, Saro Karaguesian, Anoush Krafian, Matthew Kutzer, Naig Megerdichian, Liana Nalbandian, Jacob Naroian, Nairi Ostayan, Ani Ouligian, Sona Ourfalian, Michael Samuelian, Albert Trimble, Christina Yapoudjian, George Yeghyayan, and Albert Yildirim. Of these 24 graduates, 20 were able to physically participate in the ceremony.