LEXINGTON, Mass. — Edward Avedisian, a supporter of many Armenian organizations who made news this past fall for his $100-million donation to Boston University, which led to the renaming of the medical school to the Boston University Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine, died on Wednesday, December 7. He was 85.
Avedisian had made the donation with the proviso that the medical school not be named for him, but for his close friend, Chobanian, its former dean. Chobanian, however, persisted and convinced him to put his name there too.
Boston University President Robert A. Brown called it “one of the most remarkable grants in the history of higher education” at a private signing ceremony at his residence in late August to accept the gift and formalize the school’s name change.
The $100-million gift will be divided three ways: $50 million to support scholarships for medical students, $25 million to support endowed professorships and $25 million to the Avedisian Fund for Excellence to keep the school at the forefront of research and teaching.
Interviewed in October, Avedisian sounded frail yet as sharp as ever, stressing the need for the wealthy to extend a helping hand. “My work is finished and that’s OK. I’ve done as much as I could,” he said.
One of the many organization to which he had donated through the years, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), on whose board he served, and for which he was principal benefactor of AMAA’s Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School and Community Center, announced his passing.