Vartan Gregorian was an Armenian-American academic, educator, and historian.
53 Facts About Vartan Gregorian
Vartan Gregorian served as president of the Carnegie Corporation from 1997 to 2021.
An Armenian born in Iran, Gregorian moved to the United States at 22.
Vartan Gregorian subsequently taught at several universities and his work as a historian focused mainly on the Muslim world.
Vartan Gregorian went on to join the University of Pennsylvania faculty, then as its provost.
Vartan Gregorian received dozens of honorary doctorates, the National Humanities Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Vartan Gregorian was born on April 8,1934, in the city of Tabriz in northern Iran to Christian Armenian parents Samuel B Gregorian and Shushanik.
Vartan Gregorian's father worked for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan and was mostly absent.
Vartan Gregorian's mother died of pneumonia at 26, when he was six and his father later remarried.
Vartan Gregorian came from a family of scribes, but was an illiterate peasant and Gregorian described her as wise.
Vartan Gregorian first went to an Armenian elementary school in Tabriz, then a Russian one when northern Iran was under Soviet occupation.
Vartan Gregorian was told by Edgar Maloyan, the French vice-council in Tabriz of Armenian origin, that he had to go to Beirut, Lebanon because he was "too smart to stay in Tabriz".
Vartan Gregorian followed his advice and continued his studies at the College Armenien in Beirut, graduating in 1955.
Vartan Gregorian described him as both his mentor and his benevolent benefactor.
Vartan Gregorian briefly worked as a reporter in Beirut before emigrating to the United States in 1956.
Vartan Gregorian came to the United States with the initial intention to return to Beirut to teach Armenian history in a high school.
Vartan Gregorian earned a dual PhD in history and humanities from Stanford University in 1964.
Vartan Gregorian's dissertation was titled "Traditionalism and Modernism in Islam".
Vartan Gregorian began his teaching career at University of California, Berkeley where he was briefly instructor in Armenian history and culture in 1960.
Vartan Gregorian taught European and Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State College between 1962 and 1968.
Vartan Gregorian was initially instructor, then in 1964 he was named assistant professor and, in 1966, associate professor of history.
Vartan Gregorian joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1972 as Tarzian Professor of Armenian and Caucasian History and Professor of South Asian history.
Vartan Gregorian subsequently served as the 23rd provost of Penn from January 1979 to October 1980.
From 1984 to 1989 Vartan Gregorian was professor of history and Near Eastern studies at New York University and at The New School for Social Research.
From 1981 to 1989 Vartan Gregorian served as president of the New York Public Library, a network that then contained four research libraries and 83 circulating libraries.
Vartan Gregorian was highly successful in the position, particularly as a fundraiser.
Vartan Gregorian nearly doubled the library's budget and by the end of his tenure, he had secured $327 to $400 million for the NYPL from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
Vartan Gregorian succeeded in getting approval from city planning authorities to restore the nearby Bryant Park.
Four years later, in August 1988 Vartan Gregorian was chosen to become Brown's 16th and first foreign-born president.
Vartan Gregorian was officially inaugurated as president in April 1989.
Vartan Gregorian served in that position for eight years, until June 1997.
At Brown, Vartan Gregorian continued teaching a freshman seminar and a senior seminar and a course on Alexis de Tocqueville with Stephen Graubard.
In January 1997 Vartan Gregorian was chosen as the president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, at the time the 16th largest foundation in the US, known for its advocacy of education and peace.
At Carnegie Corporation, Vartan Gregorian switched from his previous fundraiser role to one of a fund granter.
Vartan Gregorian was involved in projects in the Armenian American community and Armenia.
Vartan Gregorian was outspoken about the importance of education in Armenia.
Vartan Gregorian was on the Board of Governors of UWC Dilijan, the first international boarding school in Armenia founded in 2014.
Vartan Gregorian donated 1,500 books to the school and a learning center is named after him.
In 2016 Vartan Gregorian co-founded the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity with Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan.
Vartan Gregorian was honored by the Armenian government, the Armenian Church, and Armenian diaspora organizations.
Vartan Gregorian met President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian on several occasions.
The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research headquarters in Belmont, Massachusetts, was officially renamed to the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building in January 2019.
Vartan Gregorian was described as a public intellectual, who often commented on educational and political matters, and a life-long advocate for education.
Vartan Gregorian advised Walter Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation on school reform.
Vartan Gregorian stated that a democratic society needs freedom and choice, but a moral center and not a moral enclosure.
Vartan Gregorian said that it is more important to integrate immigrants into American society than assimilate them.
In 2009 Richard Heffner suggested that Vartan Gregorian would be great as a successor to Hillary Clinton as a US Senator from New York.
Vartan Gregorian died on April 28,2018, at the age of 80.
Vartan Gregorian had a surgery for kidney removal in October 1999.
Vartan Gregorian died on April 15,2021, after being hospitalized due to stomach pain.
Vartan Gregorian's book is far superior to any work on modern Afghanistan known to this reviewer.
Vartan Gregorian published his memoirs, entitled The Road to Home: My Life and Times, in 2003.
Vartan Gregorian narrates his life, which has been described as a "rags-to-riches" story.