ArmInfo. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative made a statement on the passing of Vartan Gregorian.
The statement in particular, reads: ''We are deeply saddened by the loss of Aurora Co- Founder and member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee Vartan Gregorian (1934- 2021) - an outstanding Armenian-American humanitarian, scholar, author, educator and mentor and a dear friend to many of us.
As Co-Founder of Aurora and member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, Vartan Gregorian worked tirelessly to help bring their vision to life and give a second chance to those most in need. We respected and appreciated his expertise and were grateful for his invaluable contribution to the creation and development of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.
Aurora mourns the passing of Vartan Gregorian and we send our thoughts and prayers to Vartan Gregorian's family and to everyone who has been impacted by his remarkable life. He may not be with us anymore, but he will never be forgotten. His legacy will be everlasting.
"The world has lost one of its leading humanitarians, the United States has lost a great American, and the Armenian community has lost a towering figure who was an inspiration to us all. On a more personal note, I have lost a friend and mentor who guided my path and my thinking in innumerable ways," said Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and the Aurora Prize. "As we mourn his loss, we also celebrate his life, filled with the most extraordinary accomplishments. Vartan was a beacon of hope who changed so many lives for the better."
"Vartan Gregorian's lifelong mission was to achieve peace and prosperity, to give voice to the voiceless, and to empower the powerless. He was a man of great inner strength, compassion and wisdom. We will all miss him dearly," said Ruben Vardanyan, Co- Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and the Aurora Prize.
Born in Tabriz, Iran, Vartan Gregorian overcame countless challenges he faced as a young immigrant to the United States and built a successful international career that spanned several decades. He was an ardent advocate of education and enlightenment, seeing books as "stations of hope, education and better future."
In 1956, Gregorian entered Stanford University, where he majored in history and the humanities, graduating with honors in 1958. Gregorian was awarded a Ph.D. in history and humanities by Stanford in 1964 and received the Danforth Foundation's E.H. Harbison Distinguished Teaching Award in 1969.
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.
In 1981-1989, Vartan Gregorian served as President of The New York Public Library and was widely credited with restoring the status of the library as a cultural landmark. In 1989, he was appointed president of Brown University. Brown became both more global, more academically competitive, and more financially secure under his leadership: during his tenure, he led a campaign that raised over $500 million, bringing the institution's endowment past the $1 billion mark.
Gregorian was awarded 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 addition, he has received scores of honorary degrees and has been decorated by the French, Italian, Austrian, and Portuguese governments. Since 1997, Dr. Gregorian served as the twelfth president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. In 1998, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Clinton, and in 2004 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil award of the United States, by President Bush.
In his lifelong mission to achieve global prosperity and peace, Vartan Gregorian was a strong voice that always spoke up on behalf of the most destitute. Committed to the eradication of genocide, discrimination and persecution, he has become a mentor and a beacon of hope for all inspired by his empathy and determination. He guided the younger generation with kindness and acuity, changing lives and constantly leading by personal example of selflessness and commitment.
A prolific author, Vartan Gregorian published several books, including The Road To Home: My Life and Times, Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith, and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946.