Mr. & Mrs. Gregory Melikian Establish
Million-Dollar Armenian Studies Program at Arizona State University
By THE ARMENIAN REPORTER INT'L
TUCSON, AZ - Mr. Gregory and Mrs. Emma Melikian of this city recently established the Million Dollar Melikian fund for Armenian Language and Cultural Study at Arizona State University.
The announcement of the establishment of the fund was made public last month when His Holiness Karekin II paid a short visit to the city. During the visit, a proclamation jointly signed by Lattie F. Coor, President of the University, and Stephen K. Batalden, Director of the university's Critical Languages Institute, was read, in which they disclosed that, as of the year 2002, the Critical Language Institute of the University will offer courses in Armenian language and culture.
His Holiness blessed the couple for their generosity as the audience of 400 local Armenians and Arizona University officials witnessed the event.
Arizona State University has an enrollment of 46,000 students.
Mr. Gregory J. Melikian and Mrs. Emma Melikian, former residents of Kew Garden, NY, are prominent leaders of the Armenian community of Tucson, where they have been living for the past 32 years.
Mr. Melikian, a lawyer, is a former owner of the San Carlos Hotel and a founder of Great Western Realty Co. He is a past president of Arizona Opera Company. He has served on the board of directors for Channel 8 KAET and has worked with historic site preservation, both in the Valley and in Tucson.
Gregg is related to Drs. Paul and Joyce Barsam of Boston. Mrs. Barsam is currently a Trustee at Tufts University, with her husband serving as President of the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) of Watertown, MA.
Gregory's wife, Emma Melikian, has been a prominent leader in the metropolitan arts community. She is the founder and president of "ThankYouAmerica Foundation," an organization devoted to the support of immigrants and their positive contributions to American life. She has been awarded the George Washington Medal of Honor from the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge. The national society of the Daughters of American Revolution presented her with the Certificate for Outstanding Community Services. She is the sister of Dr. Nikit Ordjanian of Flushing, NY.
As leaders of the Armenian community in the southwest, the Melikians have played a significant role in the development of the Armenian Church in Scottsdale and its Educational and Social Center.
The community has a cultural center that is used once a month for church services. The center recently completed a second floor, which serves the community as a library and computer center.