Vartan Gregorian and Edward Avedisian (photo by Carnegie Corporation of New York)

BELMONT, MA — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) invites the public to join its first-ever virtual gala on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at 7:00 pm-Eastern/ 4:00 pm-Pacific for its “Building for Eternity” Virtual Gala, honoring Edward Avedisian, NAASR Board member and principal benefactor of NAASR’s spectacular new Vartan Gregorian Building.

“We are honored to recognize Ed for his outstanding dedication and distinguished service in advancing education in the U.S. and Armenia,” said Yervant Chekijian, NAASR’s Chairman of the Board. Mr. Avedisian is an extraordinary philanthropist, who serves as a member of NAASR’s Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Missionary Association of America. NAASR’s new headquarters bears Vartan Gregorian’s name at the request of Mr. Avedisian. “These two remarkable individuals share a fundamental belief in the transformative power of education, which is also at the core of NAASR’s mission,” said Mr. Chekijian. “We hope you will join us on June 16th in celebrating the accomplishments of Edward Avedisian, and together we will ensure that NAASR is ‘Building for Eternity.’”

A special In Memoriam remembrance of Vartan Gregorian (1934-2021) will also take place during the evening with a tribute from Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder and Chairman of Moderna, Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, and Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative. “We had hoped Vartan Gregorian would be with us and celebrate the evening, but instead we bear the deep loss of a towering intellectual, remarkable humanitarian, and sincere friend,” said Sarah Ignatius, NAASR’s Executive Director. Mr. Gregorian’s lifetime of scholarship and philanthropy includes President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, President of the New York Public Library, President of Brown University, Professor of Armenian and Caucasian History and Professor of South Asian History, University of Pennsylvania, and Co-Founder, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.

Attendance at NAASR’s Virtual Gala is free, but registration through Zoom is required. ( Proceeds will go toward closing the small gap remaining on the building and toward safeguarding its financial well-being by creating an Eternity Endowment Fund. You can donate or sponsor online now or during the Gala at, or by calling the “Building for Eternity” hotline 617.762.5912 during the Virtual Gala from 7-8pm-Eastern on June 16.

The Virtual Gala organizing committee consists of Arlene Saryan Alexander, Yervant Chekijian, Sarah B. Ignatius, Marc A. Mamigonian, Margaret Mgrublian, Sylvia L. Parsons, and Judith Saryan.

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