People in Our Hearts

Vartan Gregorian (1934-2021)

A friend and an advocate of UWC Dilijan, Honorary Board member of the UWC Dilijan Board of Governors, Vartan Gregorian generously supported scholarships to UWC Dilijan for students from disadvantaged families. In 2015, together with Ruben Vardanyan, a UWC Dilijan Co-Founder, and Noubar Afeyan, a UWC Dilijan Founding Patron, he co-founded the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, our partner organisation.

To celebrate Gregorian’s love of books, in 2018 the Vartan Gregorian Learning Centre was inaugurated in the UWCD Library, with the event marked during an international symposium Library in the 21-st Century: Good Practices and International Trends. 

Born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents, Gregorian received his elementary education in Iran and his secondary education in Lebanon. In 1956 he entered Stanford University, where he majored in history and the humanities, graduating with honours in 1958. He was awarded a PhD in history and humanities from Stanford in 1964. Vartan Gregorian has taught European and Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State College, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin.

In 1972 he joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty and was appointed Tarzian Professor of History and professor of South Asian history. He was founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and four years later became its twenty-third provost until 1981. Following an academic career spanning two decades, Gregorian served as President of The New York Public Library. He is widely credited with restoring the status of the library as a cultural landmark. In 1989 he was appointed president of Brown University. During his tenure, he led a campaign that raised over $500 million, bringing the institution’s endowment past the $1 billion mark. In addition, some 250 general studies courses were established during his time as President.

Vartan Gregorian was the recipient of numerous fellowships, including from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Philosophical Society. In 1969, he received the Danforth Foundation’s E.H. Harbison Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition, he received scores of honorary degrees and was decorated by the French, Italian, Austrian, and Portuguese governments. He received the National Humanities Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US.

Since 1997 until his death Vartan Gregorian served as the twelfth president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grant-making institution founded by Andrew Carnegie.

We pledge to honour the legacy of Vartan Gregorian that binds UWC Dilijan with the name of this extraordinary individual forever.  

“Peace will be rooted in understanding how the differences between us – between states, peoples, and nations – cause conflict, and in finding ways of managing those differences instead of letting them explode into hostilities.”  Vartan Gregorian, The Road to HomeA UWCD Tribute to Vartan Gregorian, 29 April 2021


Colin Jenkins (1939-2019)

A true ambassador for both the UWC and the International Baccalaureate, Colin was Acting Head of UWC Dilijan as the school was going through the initial, most crucial, stage of its development prior to its establishment in 2014. After UWC Dilijan was opened, Colin continued to be actively involved as a member of the Board of Governors, becoming its Honorary Member in 2017.

Colin was born in Fishguard (Wales, UK) in 1939 and educated at Fishguard County Secondary School and at University College Aberystwyth, receiving a BSc in Zoology and subsequently completing a Diploma of Education. Colin taught in Isle of Man and Devon before joining Atlantic College UWC (St. Donats, Vale of Glamorgan), where his career in international education began. 

At Atlantic College, Colin became Vice Principal and then Principal between 1990 and 2000. Afterwards, Colin was involved with a number of other UWC Colleges as: Head of UWC South East Asia (Singapore), Project Director founding UWC Costa Rica (Costa Rica), Founding Head, UWC Maastricht (Netherlands), consultant in the founding of UWC España (Santander, Spain, unfortunately suspended) and Acting Head of UWC Dilijan in Armenia.

Colin was involved with the International Baccalaureate since its inception. He served as Deputy Director and was responsible for the relocation of its principal office to Cardiff. He was also the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board. Furthermore, he was the joint author and promoter of the Welsh Baccalaureate with The Institute of Welsh Affairs.

Colin Jenkins was an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff Metropolitan University and a Knight of the Royal Swedish Order of The Polar Star, serving as Consul for Sweden in Wales (2001-2012). He was also the Chairman and Principal Author of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Programme in Marine Education.

Veronika Zonabend, UWC Dilijan Co-Founder, said “UWC Dilijan could not have been established without Colin – he headed the school at the most important stage of its development, prior to its opening in 2014. Colin was a person who made us fall in love with UWC values. He had the courage to dream and was open to share that dream with others.”