NAASR to honor Edward Avedisian and remember Vartan Gregorian at “Building For Eternity” virtual gala

NAASR’s Virtual Gala Invitation (design by Vartus Varadian)

BELMONT, Mass.—The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) invites the public to join its first-ever virtual gala, “Building for Eternity,” on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at 7:00 pm-Eastern/ 4:00 pm-Pacific, honoring Edward Avedisian, NAASR Board member and principal benefactor of NAASR’s spectacular new Vartan Gregorian Building.

“We are honored to recognize Ed for his outstanding dedication and distinguished service in advancing education in the U.S. and Armenia,” said Yervant Chekijian, NAASR’s Chairman of the Board.

Avedisian is an extraordinary philanthropist, who serves as a member of NAASR’s Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia and a member of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Missionary Association of America. NAASR’s new headquarters bears Vartan Gregorian’s name at the request of Mr. Avedisian. “These two remarkable individuals share a fundamental belief in the transformative power of education, which is also at the core of NAASR’s mission,” said Chekijian. “We hope you will join us on June 16th in celebrating the accomplishments of Edward Avedisian, and together we will ensure that NAASR is ‘Building for Eternity.’”

Vartan Gregorian and Edward Avedisian (Photo: Carnegie Corporation of New York)

A special In Memoriam remembrance of Vartan Gregorian (1934-2021) will also take place during the evening with a tribute from Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering and co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. “We had hoped Vartan Gregorian would be with us and celebrate the evening, but instead we bear the deep loss of a towering intellectual, remarkable humanitarian and sincere friend,” said NAASR executive director Sarah Ignatius. Gregorian’s lifetime of scholarship and philanthropy includes president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, president of the New York Public Library, president of Brown University, professor of Armenian and Caucasian history and professor of South Asian history at the University of Pennsylvania and co-founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.

Attendance at NAASR’s Virtual Gala is free, but registration through Zoom is required. Proceeds will go toward closing the small gap remaining on the building and safeguarding its financial well-being by creating an Eternity Endowment Fund. You can donate or sponsor online now or during the Gala or by calling the “Building for Eternity” hotline 617.762.5912 during the virtual gala from 7-8pm-Eastern on June 16.

NAASR’s Vartan Gregorian Building

The gala’s organizing committee consists of Arlene Saryan Alexander, Yervant Chekijian, Sarah B. Ignatius, Marc A. Mamigonian, Margaret Mgrublian, Sylvia L. Parsons and Judith Saryan.



Founded in 1955, NAASR is one of the world’s leading resources for advancing Armenian Studies, supporting scholars, and building a global community to preserve and enrich Armenian culture, history, and identity for future generations.


National Association for Armenian Studies & Research is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting & furthering Armenian Studies & Research
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