YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian participated in a ceremonial meeting of the Academic Council of Yerevan State University October 6 on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the University. Below is the president’s speech at the meeting:
"As the first secular higher educational and research establishment in Armenia–Yerevan State University has collected together Armenian scientists from all the world in their homeland. Its role in the scientific and educational development can scarcely be exaggerated.
"The University’s role in the life of our people is also important. Established in a serious historic period–the University continued the patriotic activities of the medieval Armenian centers of higher education: the universities Ani–Akhpata–Sanain–Gladzor–and Tatev.
"In its 80 years of existence–the University selflessly served the Armenian people and homeland. Thousands of its graduates made their contribution to the prosperity of Armenia and the Diaspora.
"Many institutions of higher education in our country were established on the basis of the university chairs. It has made immense contributions to the establishment of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and research and production associations.
"Yerevan State University–which overcame numerous difficulties in the last decade–in particular–in 1992-1995–is the source of the great research potential our country can be proud of and is currently making steady progress. The University is continuing to perform the mission of training a new generation of young intellectuals for the homeland and Diaspora. It also continues its activities as one of the prestigious scientific centers of the country.
"There are structures which must indeed be considered national values in our country–which embark on the path of all-round progress and strengthen national statehood. Yerevan State University is one of them and is appreciated by the state and society.
"I congratulate all generations of lecturers and graduates of the University–in particular–respected intellectuals–who have received high awards–on this anniversary. My wish is that in the next millennium our University maintains and enriches the traditions of being the center of science and education–the traditions established by great sons of the Armenian people–and that its good reputation be widely known outside Armenia."