STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Aso O. Tavitian passed away on April 21, 2020 after a battle with cancer with his wife, Isabella Meisinger at his side.
Tavitian was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1959, after leaving Communist Bulgaria, he arrived in Beirut, Lebanon. After learning English from an Armenian English High School teacher in Beirut, he was accepted at Haigazian College on a full scholarship but couldn’t afford his living expenses and thought he would not be able to pursue his education when an anonymous benefactor altered his life. Tavitian later learned that his English teacher of minimal means made his education possible.
This act of generosity and kindness is one that he never forgot. Throughout his life’s journey, Tavitian was a model of integrity and decency. He approached every part of life with intellectual rigor but also with enthusiasm and a generosity of spirit. He was passionate about the arts and his heritage. He was loved and respected by all who knew him.
Tavitian attended Columbia University and graduated in 1965 with a Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering and in 1969, he co-founded Syncsort Inc. and was its CEO from 1975 until April of 2008 and continued to be involved with Syncsort at the Board level until 2015.
In 1995, he established and funded the Tavitian Foundation where his generosity and passions flourished. Always keeping his heritage close to his heart, he strived to strengthen the governance of the Republic of Armenia as well as providing educational opportunities for individuals of Armenian ethnicity. Tavitian supported research on issues of significance for a globalized world and his love of the arts.
His Foundation’s work on strengthening the governance of the Republic of Armenia includes the organization of a series of six-month special training programs for mid-level employees in various Armenian ministries and governmental institutions. These programs have been designed in conjunction with the faculty of the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and International Diplomacy and are taught at Fletcher. The pride in his work could not be more evident than when attending the student graduations. There have been close to 350 graduates of this program, Tavitian Scholars.