Haigazian University Raises $217,000 at its Beirut Gala

Haigazian University Raises $217,000 at its Beirut Gala

Haidostian: If Lebanon has a small yet special place in its region, Haigazian University has a small yet special place in Lebanon

Haigazian University's Fundraising Gala Banquet, in support of the New Heritage Building Project, a rousing success for itself, was held on Thursday the 19th of March, 2009, in the Emirates Hall of the Habtoor Grand Hotel, Beirut.

The banquet, which raised $217,000, came at a time when Haigazian University is witnessing a significant growth in the level of financial support it is receiving from individuals and through the developing partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and at the final months of the fundraising campaign of the New Heritage Building Project, started four years ago.

The grandiose Emirates Hall, beautifully decorated with cheerful flower arrangements, and special lighting effects, glittered with the presence of around 380 guests, including the President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, Rev. Megrdich Karageozian, the President of the Armenian Evangelical Union of Armenia, Rev. Rene Leonian, Bishop Kegham Khatcherian, Cabinet Ministers Jean Oghasabian and Alan Tabourian, MPs Hagop Kassardjian, Serge Toursarkissian, and Bassem Shabb, former ministers, members of the Haigazian Univerity Board of Trustees, community leaders of various sects, and a full complement of deans, professors, staff, and alumni.

After the Lebanese Anthem, Public Relations Director, Mira Yardemian welcomed the audience, acknowledging the vibrant role of Haigazian University in the Lebanese community for more than 50 years, and introduced the Master of Ceremonies, Maestro Harout Fazlian, the much admired and respected conductor in the symphonic and operatic life in Beirut.

After his brief introduction, MC Fazlian invited Rev. Megrdich Karageozian for the prayer of invocation.

Mayda Kelechian, from the class of 1982, presented a power point projection of the Haigazian University Campus, and its development projects. Kelechian covered all the buildings of the University, highlighting their historic evolution, symbolic value, and current function.

Haigazian University students presented a Lebanese Heritage Costumes show, featuring the socio-cultural evolution of Lebanon, presenting a unique collection of dresses from the late 16th century till the 20th century, including an astonishing 18th century "sarma" wedding dress. The show was the courtesy of Ms. Samia Saab, a senior consultant in Lebanese and Eastern culture, who put on stage her private collection and creations of ancient costumes.

The six young virtuosos of Armenia, with their conductor Roupen Asatryan, who specially arrived from Armenia for this special occasion, astonished the audience with 6 musical pieces of Tchaikovsky, Hakhvertyan, Piazzola, Khatchaderian, and of the Lebanese Rahbani Brothers.

This group of youngsters with ages from 12 to 15, is a recently established musical group of children sponsored by the AMAA in Armenia.

In his keynote address, President Paul Haidostian acknowledged the role Haigazian University plays in preserving culture and heritage. "You know that we have a strong sense of heritage. We want heritage to free our youth to learn, to develop and to serve. Heritage is not a liability, it is wealth. Heritage is not a cage, it is life giving space. If Lebanon has a small yet special place in its region, Haigazian U. has a small yet special place in Lebanon," Haidostian noted.

Haidostian clarified that Haigazian University's mission and challenge will always stretch beyond the politics of the day, of the now and of the here, stressing the fact that the University works for human dignity, and for the discovery of the image of God in all people.

The Gala Banquet formed the perfect opportunity to declare two newly-established awards granted in the name of Haigazian University to a few people who have helped the University to build much quality and morale.

The "Distinguished Supporter Award" was granted to Mr. & Mrs. Garbis and Lucy Tutunjian, for their enduring and generous support of Haigazian University. The Tutunjians had not only established a fund, but kept supporting the University and their fund in a most humble, unassuming, and continuous way. "Even though the fund carries their name, it is their spirit and constant availability that has been appreciated. How we give is what gives meaning to what we give," noted President Haidostian while presenting the couple with the award.

The "Distinguished Scholar Award" was granted to Monseigneur Antarnig Granian, for his venerable devotion to Armenology and liturgical studies, with enduring faith and nurturing grace. Father Granian's ecclesiastical and scholarly portfolio is as full as it could be. He is an author, playwright, editor of dictionaries, and founder of magazines, Armenian church youth movements and Armenological volumes. His contribution to the Haigazian University community, in particular through his leadership as editor in chief of the prestigious Haigazian Armenological Review has been invaluable.

"But again, the reason why he deserves merit is not only the amount of knowledge he owned and taught and continues to communicate, but his Christ-like spirit," said President Haidostian, very emotionally touched upon presenting the award to his professor, acknowledging the fact that he has been blessed to disciple such great men as Father Granian.

Finally the recipients of the awards joined President Haidostian to cut the celebratory cake of the occasion.

Mira Yardemian
Public Relations Director