• Herag Keusseyan and his family officially inaugurate the AGBU Alex Manoogian School’s brand new Manuel Keusseyan Library in honor of his father, the renowned intellectual and educator. Over 200 guests, including city officials, alumni and friends attended the opening in Montréal. Photo credit: Ara Samson.

  • The Manuel Keusseyan Library was made possible with the generous support of the AGBU Alex Manoogian School’s parents, friends and former students from across Montréal who wanted to give back to their alma mater. Photo credit: Ara Samson.

  • Alumna Houry Avedissian, founder of Ha2 Architecture Design, created a multipurpose design for the library, including retractable screens and tables that easily transform the space into a conference hall. Photo credit: Ara Samson.

  • In addition to iPads, the Manuel Keusseyan Library will soon house countless digital books and databases in Armenian, English and French. Photo credit: Ara Samson.

  • The Manuel Keusseyan Library is filled with dozens of iPads, advancing the AGBU Alex Manoogian School’s mission to put the mobile device into students’ hands. Photo credit: Ara Samson.

  • In the fall, the AGBU Alex Manoogian School daycare center completed construction on the Dervishian Playground, part of its broader efforts to renovate and expand its facilities in Montréal.

March 18, 2014 | Press Releases

Brand New Library Keeps AGBU Alex Manoogian School at the Forefront of Innovation

Alumni and Community Support Brings State-of-the-Art Facilities to Hundreds of Armenian Students in Montréal

The AGBU Alex Manoogian School in Montréal has officially unveiled its brand new, state-of-the-art library. Over 200 alumni and faculty gathered for the library’s recent ribbon-cutting ceremony, representing a school—and a community—that is only growing stronger almost 45 years after its founding.

The new facilities pay tribute to one of the school’s beloved educators, the late Manuel Keusseyan, a renowned intellectual whose memory lives on today among his family, students and faculty. When plans for the library were first proposed last spring, alumnus and benefactor Kevin Torudag agreed to support the project on one condition: it honored his favorite teacher. At the inaugural event, Torudag, who grew up under the AGBU umbrella, participating in scouts groups and Camp Nubar, spoke of the positive impact that Keusseyan and the school had on his life.

Standing alongside the Keusseyan family, Torudag, stated, “Manuel Keusseyan was much more than an Armenian teacher to me. He was a role model and a friend who helped shape me as a student and as a person. The lessons he taught us within and outside of the classroom stay with me to this day. I am so pleased we can celebrate Manuel Keusseyan’s legacy with this library and that I could help ensure that this institution continues to offer the highest standard of education and life-long mentoring that he embodied.”

Vice Principal Chahé Tanachian applauded Torudag and the many young donors who gave back to their alma mater in support of the library project. “The young professionals who contributed to this cause understand that education lies at the heart of our community, and that we’re creating the next generation of leaders with our focus on Armenian culture, history, language and new technologies,” he remarked. “We were proud to become Quebec’s first wireless school, now committed to putting iPads into the hands of students. With the continuous support of our graduates, we’ll remain at the forefront of innovation.”

The library will allow students to create and learn while taking advantage of the latest technologies. Already outfitted with dozens of iPads, it will soon house countless digital books and databases in Armenian, English and French. The multipurpose design—retractable screens and tables easily transform the room into a conference hall—was envisioned by Houry Avedissian, founder of Ha2 Architecture Design. Avedissian, also an alumna, worked alongside Raffi Chitilian, a retired civil engineer and volunteer project manager whose grandchildren, students at the school, are already enjoying the new space.

Once the ribbon was cut by Manuel Keusseyan’s son, Herag, the library filled with guests, including a number of local officials. His Eminence Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisian; Mary Deros, City Councillor, Ville de Montréal; and Harout Chitilian, Vice President of the Executive Committee, Ville de Montréal and an AGBU Alex Manoogian School alumnus, were among the attendees. Parents, many of whom kicked off the fundraising efforts with a Parents’ Committee gala that brought in over $40,000, were also present.

The Manuel Keusseyan Library is part of the AGBU Alex Manoogian School’s broader efforts to expand. In the fall, the school’s daycare center completed renovations of its playground with equipment donated by the AGBU Toronto Chapter. The Dervishian Playground was funded by the Dervishian family, Evik Asatoorian, and Armen and Ketty Kazandjian. Serving children 18 months to four years old, the space is now larger and safer—and enrollment is already on the rise.

The AGBU Alex Manoogian School’s ongoing fundraising campaign is key to the continued success of the school. As it approaches its 45th anniversary, the school is celebrating current students and the many alumni who are making valuable contributions to their communities. Since the school first opened in 1970, it has grown rapidly, with over 2,000 graduates to date.

To learn more about the AGBU Alex Manoogian School, and to support scholarships, facility improvements and program developments, please visit www.alexmanoogian.qc.ca or email alumni@alexmanoogian.qc.ca.

The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted to upholding the Armenian heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs. Each year, AGBU is committed to making a difference in the lives of 500,000 people across Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian diaspora. Since 1906, AGBU has remained true to one overarching goal: to create a foundation for the prosperity of all Armenians.

To learn more visit www.agbu.org.

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