BELMONT, Mass. — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) held its 69th Annual Assembly of Members on Saturday, November 4, at its headquarters, the Vartan Gregorian Building. The event was a hybrid meeting with both in-person attendees and online participation of NAASR members around the U.S. as well as abroad.
Board Chairperson Judith Saryan remarked on the pain of the past year for Armenians in the Republic and in Artsakh, in particular, and observing that “preserving our cultural and historical heritage is even more crucial and we should be proud of having an organization such as NAASR dedicated to this cause which has become stronger and stronger.”
Saryan’s report as chairperson gave an overview of an exceptionally active year for the organization, including sponsoring or co-sponsoring more than 65 scholarly programs, supporting scholars through research grants, hosting events for young people, providing space for a number of Armenian sister organizations to hold their events, as well as the ongoing valuable work of NAASR’s Mardigian Library and Bookstore, and more. She thanked the full- and part-time staff as well as volunteers for their efforts and expressed special gratitude to several individuals who have honored NAASR with generous bequests.
Recognition of Long-Serving Board Members
Of special significance was Saryan’s recognition of three outstanding and long-serving NAASR Board members who were retiring this year for their leadership, vision and dedicated service: Yervant Chekijian of Watertown, a NAASR member since 1963, Board member since 1998, and Board Chairman from 2016 to 2022, making a profound impact on NAASR’s growth and leading the ambitious and highly successful campaign for our new headquarters; Raffi Yeghiayan of Bedford, a NAASR member since 1960, Board member since 1968, and Board Chairman from 2010 to 2016, devoting his many talents to leading the organization; and Roxanne Etmekjian of West Newton, a NAASR member since 1986 and a Board member since 2006, including many years as Treasurer.
Saryan concluded by stating that she has “felt privileged to serve as NAASR’s Chair this past year and honored to work with all of you,” but had made the decision to step down as Chair while remaining “as committed as ever to NAASR” and continuing to serve on the Board of Directors.