NEW YORK — Benefactor, real estate entrepreneur and public health administrator Anoush Mathevosian passed away at the end of June 2022 in New York.
Mathevosian was born in New Julfa, Iran in 1926 as one of eight children of a priest. Her grandfather was killed in the Armenian Genocide and her father was deported to Iran and raised in an orphanage. Her academic success in a Tehran high school led to an opportunity to study in the United States, where she graduated New York Medical School with honors to become a registered nurse. She later obtained a degree in Public Health Administration from Columbia University Teachers College and worked for 16 years as an administrator in Elmhurst Hospital (in Queens, NY).
She invested in real estate starting in the 1960s together with her sister Siranoush (they lost their brothers at an early age) and used the proceeds over the years to support Armenians in Armenia, Artsakh and the US. Many of her humanitarian projects were through the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern). The 1988 earthquake became a motivation for her involvement in Armenia. Later, her donations led to major improvements to Yerevan State University, the building of a new school in Artsakh, and the founding in 2002 of a school in Vanadzor, at the center of the earthquake zone, which residents named in her honor.
In 1997, she funded the establishment of a summer camp in Yegheknadzor for children who lost their parents in the first Karabakh war. She named it Camp Siranoush after her beloved departed sister.
Mathevosian established a scholarship fund through FAR which has helped hundreds of students from underprivileged families to continue their education at Yerevan State University. She helped established Armenia’s National Mammography Center through the Armenian American Cultural Association.
Mathevosian was deeply affected by the Armenian Genocide and its effects on her family, and this led her to spearhead efforts to create an Armenian Genocide museum in the United States. To this end, she became involved in the Armenian Assembly of America, and served on the Board of Governors of the Armenian National Institute and the Board of Trustees of the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial. She donated a substantial sum of money towards the purchase of a building as well as spent much time in search of the appropriate site in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, the museum was never built due to bitter disputes between other Armenian philanthropists who had become involved, but her donation could never be recovered (see https://mirrorspectator.com/2017/10/19/washington-genocide-museum-shame-continues/).
Mathevosian’s philanthropy was recognized by the government of the Republic of Armenia, which bestowed upon her the “Golden Medal” of the Ministry of Science and Education, the Holy See of Echmiadzin, through its St. Gregory the Illuminator award, its highest honor, and the Mid-Atlantic Knights and Daughters of Vartan, through its Lifetime Humanitarian Benefactor Award.