Alumni Who Currently Serve as School Principals Were Honored
Haigazian University officially kicked off its academic year 2016-2017, with the commemorative celebration of its Founders’ Day, which took place on Monday the 17th of October 2016.
Ten University alumni who currently serve as school principals were honored during this auspicious celebration, whereby the University acknowledged the critical and vital roles they play in educational administration and in shaping the future of upcoming generations.
The recipients were, Bashar Abdulsater of Heliopolis High School; Pastor Hagop Akbasharian of Armenian Evangelical Secondary School, Ainjar; Ara Vasilian of A.G.B.U. Tarouhy Hovagimian Secondary School; Jimmy el Choufani of Adventist School; Vartoug Balekjian of Armenian Evangelical Secondary School Shamlian Tatikian; Samer Al Jamal of Beirut Evangelical School For Girls and Boys; Dr. Elias Shoufani of Adventist School; Galina Shememian of Vahan Tekeyan School; Nelly Vekilian of Souren Khanamirian Armenian College; Nadim Abdul Sater of Heliopolis High School, Baalbek.
Candidates who were introduced by University Public Relations Director, Mira Yardemian, received with pride their certificates of recognition from President Paul Haidostian.
In his keynote address, Near East School of Theology’s (NEST) President, Dr. George Sabra, evaluated the new system of education, putting significant importance on the “critical mind”. “To develop a critical mind has become a value in education, and so it must be”, said Sabra, emphasizing on the positive aspect of the word “critic” or “critical”, and that is “helping pupils grow out of naiveté.” He then elaborated on another danger resulting from critical thinking, the one that turns the critic into a cynic, a cynic being someone who stresses on faults, raises objections and believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest. Sabra concluded his speech by acknowledging the mission of the universities, specially a University like Haigazian that is committed to values, and acts based on its motto of Truth, Freedom and Service, to “continue the task of deepening the critical skills of students which begins in schools, while at the same time, not turning students into fault-finders or cynics.”
For his part, President Haidostian summarized Haigazian University’s institutional history in three pointed lessons. He first considered that good vision covers the limitations of distances, such as geographic boundaries, politics and self-protection. The birth of Haigazian University in Lebanon, through the support of the Armenian Missionary Association of America in New York and the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, is a vivid example of the founders accomplishing their dream of rebuilding their lost hometowns in Turkey. The second lesson is in how loss and disaster can develop into a creative service. “The Haigazian experience is a living and long-standing proof that, hope is not in the waiting for something. Hope is in immersing oneself in relevant service’, Haidostian said. For the third lesson, Haidostian reiterated the fact that education is always a winner. “Education is not only schooling, but the school is for our times the most systematic institution for education. The support of schools, of teachers, of principals and directors continues to be critical in the mission of HU”, he said.
The ceremony, which was opened by a prayer of invocation offered by the Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical First Church, Rev. Hrayr Cholakian, was musically entertained by student Armani Hera Selimian, graciously singing “One Moment in Time” of Whitney Houston, accompanied on the piano, by her mother, pianist and composer, Shoghagat Apartian – Selimian. The audience also enjoyed a video presentation featuring a down memory lane of pictures and moments from the University’s early beginning till our current days.
The official ceremony concluded over a decent reception and congratulatory cheers.
Public Relations Director