The Armenian Educational Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary at a banquet held at the Glendale Hilton on November 11–2000. In her opening remarks–Chairman of the banquet committee Mina Shirvanian highlighted the important role the AEF has played in assisting Armenian schools–students–and educational programs in the Diaspora–Armenia–and Artsakh.
Shirvanian thanked various officials who had presented the AEF with letters of appreciation. Among these were President Clinton–President Kocharian–NKR President Ghoukasian–California State Governor Gray Davis–and LA County Supervisor Mike Antanovich. A letter of recognition was also sent by Chairman Mher Shkhrdemian on behalf of the Board of Regents of Prelacy Armenian schools. In his letter–President Kocharian mentioned the reconstruction of fifty schools throughout Armenia and Artsakh for which the AEF is responsible. NKR President Ghoukasian praised the work of the AEF for reinforcing education and enlightenment virtues already possessed by the Armenian people. Western Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirosian praised the AEF and conveyed the blessing of Catholicos Aram II.
Committee Chairwoman Nora Sahagian presented the evening’s master of ceremonies Garo Mirigian who has been the Educational Council’s Chairman for numerous years. AEF member Alice Bedrossian was also one of the main speakers of the evening who assured the audience of the future activities of the AEF. A video was shown presenting the various episodes of the AEF within the past 50 years–and was narrated by Mesrobian school principal Garo Momdjian.
In his closing remarks–AEF President Nshan Piroomian noted the completion of the reconstruction of 49 schools–with the fiftieth close to finish. Piroomian also presented Jack Arakelian with a gift for his 50 years of continuous service and membership in the AEF. An emotional Arakelyan accepted his gift and said his faith in the AEF was and is the source of his dedication to the foundation.
The evening’s ceremonies ended with Salby Mayilyan singing classical and popular Armenian songs throughout the evening with pianist Marina Simonian. Mike Postian also performed with his band.