Khachadour Nahigian

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Prof. Khachadour Nahigian

Khachadour Nahigian was born in 1860 in the village of Hussenig, Kharpert Province, Armenia. Young Khachadour was the first student to register at Euphrates (Yeprad) College. As a specialist in astronomy and mathematics, he graduated with honors in 1880 alongside Nigoghos Tenekejian and others who would later become notable intellectuals.

In 1880, he departed for America, where he would study natural sciences and mathematics within the department of literature, science and the arts at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. In the 1886-1887 University of Michigan Calendar Khachadour Nahigian is listed under the catagory of "students not candidates for degrees", and as a resident of "Harpoot, Turkey". Later, he returned to Kharpert where he lectured on the subjects of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Well respected amongst his students, he was a father-like figure who encouraged education and guided students in their education and lives. The college was composed of a sizable percentage of natives from Nahigian's village of Hussenig, a fact with he was very proud of. The feeling was reciprocated in the village where Nahigian was an admired member of the Armenian Evangelical Church and community. Khachadour Nahigian served as the dean of the faculty of Euphrates College for 35 years, before being martyred in the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

In the eyes of the Turkish authorities, the fact that Nahigian was dean of faculty, coupled with the fact that he was Armenian, was enough to label him revolutionary and therefore justify his extermination. This was not however, his first run-in with the Turks. Prior to the summer of 1915, he had been arrested, jailed and brutally tortured in prison.

An October 7, 1915 New York Times article states that "Professor Tenekejian, who was the Protestant Azbaked and representative of the Americans with the Government was arrested on May 1. No charge was made against him, but the hair of his head, mustache and beard was pulled out in a vain effort to secure damaging confessions. He was starved and hung by the arms for a day and a night and was severely beaten several times. About June 20 he was taken out toward Diarbekir and murdered in a general massacre on the road. Professor Nahigian, who had studied at Ann Arbor, was arrested about June 5, and shared Professor Tenekejian's fate on the road."


  • American College Nearly Wiped Out, New York Times, October 7, 1915, pg. 3.
  • Hooshartsan Nahadag Mdavoraganootyan, Teotig, 2nd Ed., April 24, 1985, pg. 76
  • Kharpert and its Golden Field, Vahe Haig, 1959, New York, Kharpert Armenian Patriotic Union, pg. 374
  • Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Research by Carl Bardakian)
  • Calendar of the University of Michigan (1886-1887), Pub. 1887, Ann Arbor, pg. 179
  • Hussenig: The origin, history, and destruction of an Armenian town, Marderos Deranian, 1994 Belmont, MA, pg. 50-53