Hrair Dekmejian

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Dr. R. Hrair Dekmejian Honored at AEF's Lifetime Achievement Award Luncheon

GLENDALE - The Armenian Educational Foundation held its Lifetime Achievement Award luncheon honoring Dr. R. Hrair Dekmejian at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Dec. 4, with over 380 invited guests in attendance.

The program started with introductions by Alice Petrossian, Chair of the Organizing Committee and MC followed by American and Armenian National Anthems performed by Rima Karapetyan.

Welcoming remarks were made by AEF's President Nora Sahagian who focused on AEF's accomplishments and allocations during the past 55 years.

Invocation was given by Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, and during lunch the guests enjoyed a video presentation of AEF's history and its 55th celebration in Armenia. Karapetyan entertained the guests with classical renditions of Armenian music.

Guest speaker, Dr. Donald E. Miller Professor of Religion, USC, gave a review of the honoree's character, dedication and service to the community. Dr. Mihran Agbabian, Professor Emeritus of USC described his relationship with Dr. Dekmejian since high school years in Aleppo, Syria to recent years at USC. Charlie Ghailian introduced the honoree by recognizing and appreciating his dedication and leadership as a director of the newly formed USC Institute of Armenian Studies.

Dr. Dekmejian thanked the AEF board and the organizing committee for honoring him. He shared his memories and views in detail on major issues facing the community and Armenian society in general.

The AEF Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Dekmejian by co-chairs of the Events Committee, Hacop Baghdassarian and Mina Shirvanian. 2005 AEF Richard R. Tufenkian Scholarship recipients were also recognized with each making a brief statement.

President Sahagian made the closing remarks and presented for the first time a President's Appreciation Award to Hacop Baghdassarian, Herand Der Sarkissian, Varoujan Koundakjian, Vahik Petrossian and Neshan Peroomian for their total commitment to AEF projects. Fr. Dajad Dz. Yardemian a representative of Western Diocese Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian closed the event with the benediction.

In honor of Dr. Dekmejian the proceeds from the luncheon will be used to renovate the Arax School in Armavir, Armenia.

California Courier Online, January 19, 2006

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