Book on Yerevan State University Notable Scholars and Prominent Figures Published

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By Fr. Untzag Nalbanian

TRUMBULL, Conn. – During the summer of 2018 when I visited Yerevan State University (YSU) with my daughter Dr. Ani, in the lobby we saw the busts of famous university professors, scholars and authors such as Hrachia Ajarian, Manoug Apeghian and Catholicos Karekin Hovsepiants. Right there, I thought about the importance of a book which will give the brief biography of these great individuals so those who are born in the diaspora like my daughter – and why not even non-Armenians, can learn about those great people who have cultivated the minds of generations and prepared experts in different fields.

Upon my return I first presented this idea to my Parish Council at Holy Ascension in Trumbull, CT, which unanimously supported and approved to sponsor the publication of such a book. I then spoke with the Fund for Armenia Relief (FAR)’s project manager, Arto Vorperian, after which the project started to roll. I also contacted Fr. Mardiros Hakobyan, the pastor of St. Kevork Armenian Church in Houston, TX, and asked him if he would want to co-sponsor the publication of this book with his community. His answer was, “With great pleasure and love, we also will sponsor and take part.”

The rest is history.

During these past few months, we worked closely with Vorperian, Edik Karapetyan, FAR’s Yerevan office representative and the Yerevan State University administration and decided the details of this book. I must say, we were satisfied with all and the result was the publication of this book, Yerevan State University Notable Scholars and Prominent Figures.

Yerevan State University is near and dear to my heart because after my graduation from Kevorkian Seminary, with the permission of His Holiness the late Catholicos Vazken I, from 1974-1975 I attended Yerevan State University and took courses in Krapar (Classical Armenian) and French languages. I especially would like to mention Prof. Bavel Sharapkhanian whose student I was in Krapar class and which I enjoyed so much.

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This book is the gift of our two church communities on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of YSU. Together with Fr. Mardiros, we decided to dedicate this book to one of the pioneer teachers of the newly established university, Archbishop Hovsepiants, who later also became the Primate of our Eastern Diocese from 1938-43, prior to his election as catholicos to the Cilician See in Antelias.

We are thankful that this honor was given to our two communities and we are thankful to all who worked on this book, especially the authors and those who did the translation from Armenian to English. We also thank all the donors and we say long live Yerevan State University, wishing it greater success in its second centennial. We do not want to forget also to thank the crew of Shoghakat TV of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin for finding time to interview those who worked on this book and broadcasted a special program for all to learn about this publication.

Those who wish to purchase a copy of this book may contact me at the Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension (1460 Huntington Turnpike, Trumbull, CT 06611, tel. 203 372-5770, fax 203 372-4314).

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