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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.
For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit www.agbu.org