Steering Committee Formed for Institute of Armenian Studies at USC

July 23, 2004

R. Hrair Dekmejian
Professor of Political Science
University of Southern California
(213) 740-3619

Steering Committee Formed for Institute of Armenian Studies at USC

The long-held dream of the Armenian community of Southern California,
as well as thousands of USC Armenian Alumni to establish an Institute
of Armenian Studies is well on its way to realization.

A group of prominent community leaders, meeting at the Bistro Gardens
on July 14, responded enthusiastically to the establishment of an
institute that would strengthen and perpetuate the century-long
partnership between the Armenian community and the University of
Southern California.

At the dinner hosted by noted community leader, Charles Ghailian, the
attendees became acquainted with the institute’s unique mission as a
multidisciplinary center of Armenian studies, covering a variety of
fields — law, business, religion, politics, music, film, media, the
arts and sciences. Speaking passionately about the bright future of
the institute, Charles Ghailian welcomed the opportunity to establish
a world-class think-tank that would promote learning and scholarship
about the Armenian-American community, the global Armenian Diaspora,
and the Armenian Republic.

The attendees were: Dr. Mihran & Eliz Agbabian, Alex Baroian, John
Berberian, Sylva Bezdikian, Albert Boyajian, Mark Chenian,
Dr. R. Hrair Dekmejian, Charles Ghailian, Armen Janian, Esq., Onnik
Mehrabian, Varant Melkonian, Gerald Papazian, Esq., Harut Sassounian,
Hagop & Mina Shirvanian, Sinan Sinanian, The Honorable Dikran
Tevrizian, Ralf & Savey Tufenkian, Arda Yemenidjian, and Edward

After a lively discussion, the assembled guests unanimously resolved
to commit themselves to bringing the vision of the institute into
reality. By forming a Steering Committee, the members plan to raise
“seed money” and make plans for fund raising and other activities
involving many additional members in the Armenian community.

Since its founding over a century ago, USC has educated thousands of
Armenian-Americans who have gone on to distinguished careers in
business, government and the professions. It is only fitting that USC
serves as the home of an unprecedented venture in multidisciplinary
Armenian studies – the first of its kind in the United States and the
larger Diaspora.