The Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrated the 5th Anniversary of The Archbishop Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund with a Gala Friday, April 7, 2017 in the beautiful Taglyan Complex, 1201 Vine St., Los Angeles. The evening began with champagne and cocktails at 7:30 pm where guests were greeted by committee members and the Primate, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian before they proceeded to the main hall for dinner and the program. Under the auspices of His Eminence Archbp. Hovnan Derderian, the night was a triumph in surpassing Fund goals and celebrating its mission with the crowd of enthusiastic guests who recognized the necessity of scholarship and financial aid to assist Armenian schools in retaining student enrollment.
The 5th Anniversary celebration proceeded with Mrs. Silva Katchiguian member of the Scholarship Committee who welcomed guests and introduced Rev. Fr Khajag Shahbazyan, pastor of St. Leon (Srbots Ghevontiants) Armenian Cathedral for the invocation and the blessing of tables. Mrs. Alice Chakrian, Chairlady of the Scholarship Committee and Mrs. Eileen Keusseyan, Scholarship Committee member spoke of the growth of the fund, the distribution of the fund and the investment of the fund in the Armenian student and in endowment. They also thanked each and every one for their unrelenting financial and moral support.
“It is wonderful to see how the scholarship fund has developed from inception to realization,” said Mrs. Alice Chakrian. “Every year the funds have grown, and with the generous support of those who believe in the value of an education in our Armenian schools, we have multiplied our financial assistance and scholarships. Over the past five years, we have given close to $200,000 in aid and scholarship to Armenian students and have established an endowment fund as well,” said Mrs. Chakrian proudly.
“We owe this success to the generosity of the donors,” said Mrs. Keusseyan, as she thanked those present. “However, our greater debt of gratitude is for His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian who contributes to this fund with his own financial support and his deep faith in the education of our children in Armenian schools,” concluded Mrs. Keusseyan.
Indeed, the 5th Anniversary Gala celebration was a kick off to announce the funds that will distributed to the various schools within the program. Currently the Armenian schools that benefit from the fund include Alfred and Marguerite Hovsepian School, AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School, AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School, The Armenian Sisters Academy of LA, Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School, and Sahag-Mesrob Christian School.
Mrs. Chakrian announced that the Scholarship Committee will continue its dedication to raising funds for the next few years through current and future pledges of the faithful. “For the past five years our donors and our parents have held with honor their pledges toward the Scholarship Fund. We trust that they will continue and also encourage others to contribute along with them,” she said.
A video presentation was screened with testimonials from principals and students alike who have benefitted from the scholarship and financial aid. It showed the scope of the Scholarship fund and its positive effect on the future generation of Armenians being raised and schooled in an Armenian environment.
Mrs. Chakrian and Mrs. Keusseyan introduced the entire Scholarship committee who moved the guests to applaud Archbishop Hovnan Derderian for his unparalleled dedication to affording each and every child possible with an Armenian education. Archbishop Derderian was presented with a Certificate of Recognition by the City of Los Angeles signed by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, 3rd District, and presented by Gregory Martayan. Achbp. Dederian was also presented with an antique Bible on behalf of the Scholarship committee. Archbishop Derderian thanked everyone and especially the grand benefactors Drs. Petros and Karine Taglyan for their generous devotion to the program and to the Diocese. The 5th Anniversary cake cutting ceremony took place surrounded by Committee members, clergy and faithful.
“I cannot thank you all enough for your faith and support of this team that works with great dedication to ‘leave no child behind’ because of lack of finances. The future of the Armenian spirit is stronger with your support,” said His Eminence. “The future belongs to our children. They will be our leaders of a bright tomorrow. The enduring Armenian survival is contingent on the education of our children,” said Archbp. Derderian.
The Hovnan Derderian Scholarship Fund was established on the conviction that each and every Armenian student is entitled to an Armenian education within an Armenian school. The Fund is dedicated to helping Armenian students in financial need who are enrolled in an Armenian school through a scholarship and financial assistance program. Besides tuition assistance, the Fund sponsors an essay competition which offers outright non-need based monetary gifts to students enrolled in an Armenian school. Also part of the Fund’s program are Senior Graduation awards, presented to the graduating seniors selected by the school’s administration for exemplary Christian behavior and presented at their respective commencement ceremonies.
The evening continued into night with entertainment by Allen G. Orchestra, a top-rated international orchestra specializing in celebrated cultural sounds from around the world.