FRESNO — Armenian Studies Program Director Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian announced this week that the James L. Melikian L.A. Brothers Scholarship fund has been newly established at Fresno State. A donation of $5,100 established the scholarship, which will be awarded to deserving Armenian students studying at Fresno State.
The effort to establish the scholarship was led by Fresno State alumnus James L. Melikian, who annually hosts a gathering of friends at his home to raise funds for charitable purposes. Melikian (“The Popcorn Man”) established his company, “The Popcorn Man,” in 1977. “The Popcorn Man” provides school districts in California and other states with healthy, nutritious items for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program, the Child Care Program as well as the After School Snack Program.
In 2014 Melikian was a recipient of the Fresno State “Top Dog” award, recognizing outstanding alumni and he has been an active supporter of both the Armenian Studies Program and the Department of Media, Communications, and Journalism at Fresno State. He is also an Alumni Association Life Member and a Bulldog Foundation supporter.
Melikian graduated from Fresno State in 1969 with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism, and was President of the Hye Society organization. A highlight of the Hye Society activities was when noted author William Saroyan came to Fresno State to speak to the Armenian students. Melikian is also active in the community and in state and national politics.