The Armenia’s of Colorado (AOC) welcomed Mr. Ronald Altoon and Mr. Edward Avedisian to Louisville, Colorado on March 24, 2009 with a festive reception and a full table of delicious Armenian delicacies prepared by the AOC board members.
The group gathered at the lovely home of Betty and John Ohannessian to hear Mr. Altoon describe his experiences in designing a state-of-the-art educational building for the American University of Armenia (AUA).
Dr. Kenell Touryan, an AOC member and AUA’s Vice President for Research and Development, welcomed the 35 guests, including Mr. Bruce Janigian, AUA’s Vice President for Development and Government Relations, and Mr. Dan Maljanian, AUA’s Director of Development. AUA’s founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees and former University of California official Dr. William Frazer is an Aspen, Colorado resident and had hoped to attend, but weather prevented him from traveling.
Mr. Altoon, founding design partner of Altoon Porter Architects in Los Angeles, presented slides of the $16 million Paramaz Avedisian Building project and described the numerous challenges he faced in bringing new building techniques and environmentally sensitive solutions to the country of Armenia. The 100,000 square foot building, which doubles the size of the AUA campus in Yerevan, Armenia, added a new lecture hall, classrooms, laboratories, research centers, faculty offices, conference rooms, a caf?, and an art gallery. The project was established with a lead gift from the family of Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian.
Altoon, of Los Angeles, California and Avedisian, of Lexington, Massachusetts, were in town to make a presentation to the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) conference in Boulder on March 25. Quoting William Saroyan, Mr. Altoon remarked that AOC had indeed created a “New Armenia” by joining together in the state of Colorado and providing Armenia’s with the opportunity to gather and enjoy fellowship. He also invited the Armenia’s of Colorado to join AUA in its efforts to support the future of Armenia by ensuring the availability of quality graduate education. Mrs. Mara Gevorgian, an AOC member and a graduate of AUA’s business school, who now works for Standard & Poors, closed the program by telling of the impact her MBA has had on her career and the fond memories she has of her time at AUA.
Armenia’s of Colorado, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit cultural organization established in June of 1980. Its purpose is to create a cohesive Armenian community and to further the understanding of Armenian history, culture, language, customs, and heritage. AOC actively supports issues and concerns of the Armenian-American community in Colorado as well as those identified within the Armenian Diaspora communities throughout the world.
The group facilitates Armenian scholars and artists to share their work with the Colorado community. AOC also works with the Denver Starz Encore Film Festival, the Denver Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Colorado in supporting Armenian talent from many parts of the world. It is through programs such as these that AOC provides inspiring events and enhances cultural diversity within the Colorado community.
In addition to offering stimulating cultural and educational programs, AOC is working toward establishing an Armenian Cultural Center. AOC recently purchased a property in the Denver area and hopes to raise sufficient funds to build the center in the near future.