Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Contact: Jake Goshert, Coordinator of Information Services
Tel: (212) 686-0710 Ext. 60; Fax: (212) 779-3558
E-mail: [email protected]

July 31, 2006


Six young Armenians were celebrated in New York City's St. Vartan Cathedral
on June 10, 2006, after they completed the six-year course of study that
makes up the Khrimian Lyceum program of the Diocese of the Armenian Church
of America (Eastern).

The graduating students were: Armen Acopian, Ani Ardzivian, Haig Halajian,
Nareg Haviters, Lori Khrimian, and Vatche Zohrabian. They had completed six
years of monthly classes focused on the Armenian language, religion,
history, and culture. They had also participated in classes teaching
Armenian dance, music, theater, and fine arts.

Janet Demirozu, the teacher for the graduating class, spoke during the
graduation service about the quality of the students's characters. She has
known some of them since they were 4 or 5 years old. She thanked the
students' parents for recognizing the importance of sharing our Armenian

The program is designed to instill a sense of Armenian pride in students, as
well as to give them skills needed to be leaders in the Armenian community.
The graduates will be taking their Armenian heritage to college this fall,
to schools such as New York University, Villanova, Boston University, and

Gilda Buchakjian-Kupelian, coordinator of Armenian studies for the Diocese,
oversees the Khrimian Lyceum program. She spoke to the graduates and their
families about what constitutes the Armenian identity and the importance of
imparting it to the next generation.

"It has been transmitted to us without interruption and under dire
circumstances," she said. "We have no right to treat it carelessly. We
need to prioritize the instruction of the Armenian language, use our
language, be actively involved in the Armenian community and hold the
Armenian torch with pride."

The graduation services were officiated by Archbishop Yeghise Gizirian and
Fr. Mardiros Chevian, dean of the cathedral. In speaking to the graduates,
Archbishop Gizirian focused on the importance of education.

"Next to the Armenian Church, the Armenian school has been the mediator and
the fort that has sustained the Armenian nation over the years," he said,
expressing joy at seeing young people express themselves through farewell
messages delivered in fluent Armenian.

The day also included an Azkatroshm service, which recognized students who
have completed the first three years of the Khrimian Lyceum program. This
year, they were: Nirva Aydin, Rosine Ghichlian, Nairi Hartounian, Shant

The Azkatroshm ceremonies were conducted by Shakeh Kadehjian. The service
began with the singing of "Oorakh Ler" by Maro Partamian, accompanied by
Florence Avakian on the organ.

The graduates were each presented with a silver medal depicting the Armenian
cross, a map of Armenia, and an image of Ararat, which was graciously
provided by Hampar and Tamar Kaiserian.

A reception in the Diocesan Center's Vartan Hall followed the services.
Students were presented with a yearbook containing their writing and

The Khrimian Lyceum is a six-year program for graduates of local parish
Armenian schools. Studies focus on Armenian language, religion, history,
and culture, as well as developing leadership skills and a sense of
community pride. The program is offered in both New York City and Boston.

For more information on this program, contact Gilda Buchakjian-Kupelian,
coordinator of Armenian studies for the Diocese, via e-mail at
[email protected] or by calling (212) 686-0710 ext. 48.

-- 7/31/06

E-mail photos available on request. Photos also viewable in the News and
Events section of the Eastern Diocese's website,

PHOTO CAPTION (1): The 2006 Khrimian Lyceum students sit in the front pew
of New York City's St. Vartan Cathedral during the graduation service on
June 10.

PHOTO CAPTION (2): Teacher Shakeh Kadehjian leads students from the
Khrimian Lyceum in a reading during its Azkatroshm ceremony marking the
completion of three years of the six-year program.

PHOTO CAPTION (3): Graduates and teachers with Archbishop Yeghise Gizirian
and Fr. Mardiros Chevian at the St. Vartan Cathedral following the
graduation service on June 10.

PHOTO CAPTION (4): Students honored during the Azkatroshm ceremony with
their teachers, Archbishop Yeghise Gizirian, and Fr. Mardiros Chevian.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress