On October 26, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, who is in California for a pontifical visit, blessed the newly completed AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Performing Arts Center in Pasadena and the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School. His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian, AGBU President Berge Setrakian, AGBU Central Board members, other dignitaries and around 400 guests were in attendance.
Students from the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School and the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School offered a warm welcome to His Holiness Karekin II and guests, greeting with bread and salt and showcasing their performing skills. In his opening remarks, Berge Setrakian reaffirmed AGBU’s support for the church. “We are proud of the history of our organization but it is a top priority for us to back the Armenian Church,” said Setrakian.
His Holiness Karekin II, praised AGBU’s contribution to development of Armenian education and schools across the diaspora and thanked Vatche and Tamar Manoukian for their generosity and philanthropy. “A nation without education is like a body without a mind,” said His Holiness Karekin II, emphasizing the significance of Armenian schools. “We are confident that graduates of this school will become strong pillars of the Armenian life,” he added thanking the school’s trustees and teachers.
His Holiness Karekin II also presented the school with a special gift, a miniature of an Armenian cross-stone.
In 2009, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian made a landmark donation of $11 million to the AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School and Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. The two-story Performing Arts Center has been fully renovated and updated with modern equipment. It has a small hall with dressing rooms and a main auditorium that could be used for various events.
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