- Stories of Supporters
Dr. Vartan - a leader, educator, scholar, humanitarian and a great friend of the UWC Dilijan community - died on Thursday, 15 April, in Manhattan, at the age of 87.
Born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents, Dr. 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 honors in 1958. He was awarded a PhD in history and humanities from Stanford in 1964. Dr. 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, Dr. 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.
Dr. Gregorian is 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 has received scores of honorary degrees and has been decorated by the French, Italian, Austrian, and Portuguese governments. He is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US.
Since 1997 Dr. Gregorian has served as the twelfth president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grant-making institution founded by Andrew Carnegie.
Dr. Gregorian is well known in the UWC community. 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. Dr. Gregorian generously supported scholarships to UWC Dilijan for students from disadvantaged families. Dr. Gregorian was a UWC Dilijan Honorary Board of Governors Member, and in 2015, he co-founded the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative together with Mr. Ruben Vardanyan, a UWC Dilijan Co-Founder, and Dr. Noubar Afeyan, a UWC Dilijan Founding Patron.
Dr. Gregorian’s wife Clare Russel, who was his fellow student at Stanford, predeceased him. We express our deepest condolences to their sons Dareh, Vahe and Raffi and their families and Dr. Gregorian’s sister Ojik on their loss.
We pledge to honour the legacy of Dr. Gregorian that binds UWC Dilijan with the name of this extraordinary individual forever.
A Tribute to Dr. Vartan Gregorian by the UWC Dilijan Community
Last week we announced a community gathering on 29 April, 18:00 AMT to mark the publication in the Armenian Language of the book "The Road to Home: My Life and Times" by Dr. Vartan Gregorian. Dr. Gregorian was looking forward to joining us and speaking at the event. Please note the date in your diaries and join us as planned on 29 April, 18:00 AMT for an event, which will be a tribute to Dr. Vartan Gregorian. Join via this link