December 1, 2008

American University of Armenia Corporation
300 Lakeside Drive, 5th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Telephone: (510) 987-9452
Fax: (510) 208-3576
Contact: Gaiane Khachatrian
E-mail: [email protected]

American University of Armenia Dedicates New Paramaz Avedisian Building

The American University of Armenia dedicated its new building on November 1,
2008, bringing state-of-the-art educational facilities to Armenia and the
region. The four-story Paramaz Avedisian Building adds approximately
100,000 square feet of space to AUA's existing facilities, enabling the
University to double its enrollment by providing new classrooms and seminar
rooms, laboratories and research centers, offices for faculty, suites for
AUA's academic programs, and the new VivaCell Videoconferencing Room. The
educational facility, designed by Altoon + Porter Architects of Los Angeles,
California, incorporates several innovative design elements and
sophisticated environment-sensitive solutions.

"The new Paramaz Avedisian Building along with the United States
accreditation the University received in 2007, provides AUA with the ability
to expand educational offerings with new programs and to increase our
student body and serve additional Armenian and international students. The
University community is grateful to the many donors, large and small, who
made our dream a reality," explained AUA President Haroutune Armenian.

The ceremonies opened with the blessing of His Holiness Catholicos Karekin
II who followed with an inspirational speech on the importance of education.
Republic of Armenia Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian also addressed the
celebration, saying that "the mission of universities is not just to
transmit knowledge but also to give people the capacity to learn," because
what is learned today is quickly outdated. On behalf of President Serge
Sargsyan, the Prime Minister bestowed the Movses Khorenatsi Medal upon Mr.
Edward Avedisian and Mr. Jirair Turpanjian.

Among the keynote speakers was Dr. Rory Hume, who as Chair of the AUA Board
of Trustees noted that "the new building is an extraordinary achievement"
and compares favorably with the University of California's buildings, many
of which he has studied in his extensive career with U.C. (AUA is affiliated
with the University of California). Mr. Edward Avedisian, who also serves
on the AUA Board of Trustees, noted that the students who use the new
facility "will have the distinct advantage of the latest technology and an
environment that will inspire them onward in their pursuit of higher

The building's namesake, Paramaz Avedisian, who graduated summa cum laude
and first in his class from Rhode Island College of Pharmacy, helped others
in times of need throughout his life. One of his greatest achievements was
in tutoring a legally deaf classmate for over four years and seeing him
receive his diploma. Dr. Armenian said that Paramaz Avedisian is "the
embodiment" of the universal values espoused by AUA.

The principal benefactor of the building is the Khoren and Shooshanig
Avedisian family of Pawtucket, R.I. in honor of Paramaz Avedisian. More
than a dozen family members traveled to Yerevan for the opening ceremonies
along with the children of Paramaz Avedisian. Mr. Ed Avedisian served on
the AUA Building Committee with President Haroutune Armenian, AUA President
Emeritus and Board of Trustees member Dr. Mihran Agbabian, and Dr. Garo

Additional multimillion-dollar contributions were provided by the Turpanjian
Family Foundation and the Manoogian Simone Foundation. The Turpanjian
Family Foundation also provides major support to the AUA School of Political
Science and International Affairs and funds the AUA Turpanjian Rural
Development Program. The Turpanjian Scholarship program, administered by
AUA, has assisted over 650 students throughout Armenia to date. The
Manoogian Simone Foundation continued its generous support of the American
University of Armenia with the naming of the Alex and Marie Manoogian Hall,
in honor of Ms. Louise Simone's distinguished parents. Numerous other major
donors made room-naming contributions and traveled to Yerevan for the

The dedication ceremonies were also attended by a host of dignitaries,
including US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, USAID Mission Director Robin
Phillips, Republic of Armenia Minister of Education and Science Spartak
Seiranian, Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritzyan, Diaspora Minister Hranush
Hakobyan, Parliament Committee Chair Ara Babloyan, Yerevan Mayor Yervand
Zakaryan, Yerevan State University Rector Aram Simonyan, State Medical
University Rector Gohar Kaylian, the Ambassadors of several countries, and
numerous municipal and international representatives.

The Paramaz Avedisian Building dedication was part of a weekend of
celebration activities that included commencement ceremonies for the
University's 16th graduating class and a gala dinner banquet attended by
more than 400 students, alumni, faculty, Board of Trustee members, donors
and supporters.

Several opportunities to name rooms are still available, as is the chance to
make a donation to the Paramaz Avedisian Building matching fund drive before
December 31, 2008. For more information, please see the AUA website at <> , send an e-mail to [email protected], or
call (510) 987 9452.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia is affiliated with the
University of California system and obtained accreditation in 2007 from the
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, one of the seven regional
accrediting bodies recognized by the US Department of Education. Through
teaching, research and public service, AUA serves Armenia and the region in
the transition to a market economy and democratic governance.

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The American University of Armenia Corporation (AUAC) is registered as a
non-profit educational organization in both Armenia and the United States
and is affiliated with the Regents of the University of California.
Receiving major support from the AGBU, AUA offers American-accredited
instruction leading to the Masters Degree in eight graduate programs. For
more information about AUA, please visit