Haigazian University Celebrates its Founders' Day

Haigazian University honored Minister of Culture Mr. Tammam Salam for his contributions to the enrichment of society, during its Founders' Day celebration, on October 13, 2008, in the presence of the President of the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches of the Near East, Rev. Meguerdich Karagoezian, Minister Jean Oghassabian, Armenian Ambassador Roupen Kharazian, foreign embassies representatives, Board members, faculty, staff and students.

(L to R): Rev. Greg Lee-Parker, Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, Mr. Tammam Salam, Rev. Robert Sarkissian.

After the processional march, and the Lebanese National Anthem, the ceremony started with the invocation offered by the new Campus Minister, Rev. Greg Lee-Parker, followed by a power point presentation, "Tribute to the Founders", delivered by the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Arda Ekmekji,
Ekmekji highlighted the factors which led to the foundation of the University 53 years ago, and the founding institutions, the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches of the Near East (UAECNE), and the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA). Ekmekji proudly announced that on its 54th year, Haigazian University stepped into a new phase of development and growth, by signing a historic partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to finance scholarships, as well as by starting the refurbishment project of the recently acquired heritage building which will end by early 2010.

As an annual tradition, Student Life Director, Antranik Dakessian presented Student of the Year 2008, Mr. Antranig Ketchejian who confidently invited the students to "seize the day, and live their lives the way it's meant to be lived."
Ketchedjian called upon the students to derive through the legacy of the Founders, their powerful ideals of choice, responsibility and belief.
Ketchejian concluded by saying that university life could be lived to its utmost, by "giving equal weight, time, and dedication to the academic and the social life at the university."

After a short musical interlude, a piano duet, "Sabre Dance" of Aram Khatchadourian, graciously performed by the Panjarian sisters, Loucine and Tsoler, the President of the University, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian delivered an inspiring speech "On Profit and Culture".

Haidostian highlighted the two major characteristics of Haigazian University: its "not-for -profit" and "intercultural" aspect.
Haidostian considered that one of the challenges of Haigazian University, is its "not-for -profit" aspect, and eventually its need of resources to continue and develop and serve. He reiterated the fact that profit at Haigazian is determined by "the degree of edification, harmony, dialogue, selflessness, goodness, creativity, balance, and wisdom that we can conceive in our midst. It is in the image of a loving God that we live out."
Haidostian also introduced the notion of "culture" at Haigazian University, referring back to the founding of the institution "as an intercultural enterprise, Armenians from Lebanon and the USA, envisioning a dynamic partnership."
"All fine culture is fundamentally intercultural. Intercultural does not mean lack of culture or diluted culture or confused culture. Rather it means good communication, learning, and sharing", Haidostian concluded.

Guest of Honor, Minister of Culture, Mr. Tammam Salam addressed the audience by expressing his pride and gratitude of being a Haigazian student.
Salam considered that the main element in the Founders' vision was "a call to undergo a revolution of values, shifting from a thing-oriented society, to a person-oriented society." In the same context, Salam explained how the term "capacity building" is no more used. Instead it is been replaced by "capacity replenishment" and "capacity replacement".
Salam extended his commitment, as a minister of culture to provide Haigazian University and similar ones, with his support in promoting national awareness, so that the University becomes "a place of hope, of excitement, of discovery, a campus that is characterized by a sense of promise and pride, purpose and accomplishment".

Afterwards, President Haidostian along with Vice-Chair of the Board, Rev. Robert Sarkissian presented the minister a plaque of appreciation for his endeavors to the enrichment of society.

The program concluded with everyone singing the University's Alma Mater.

Mira Yardemian
Public Relations Director