LOS ANGELES—Educator and long-time Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School teacher Dr. Hasmig Tashjian passed away Saturday, July 24.
“In her more than 30 years of service at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, Hasmig Tashjian became a pillar of the school and through her commitment and dedication she educated generations of Armenian students. Her leadership and kindness will be missed at the school,” said Alex Pilibos Principal Nazo Apanian.
“On behalf of the administration, faculty, staff and the student body, we mourn the loss of Hasmig Tashjian,” added Apanian.
Dr. Tashjian began her academic career at the American University of Beirut, from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree (1963) and a Master of Arts degree (1965) in History. From there, she also attained a teaching diploma. She continued her academic pursuits at the University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA – where she earned a second Master of Arts degree (1981), the degree of Candidate in Philosophy and her Doctorate (1993) in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures – Armenian Literature. The title of her dissertation was “ A Study of Character Relationships in the Armenian Epic David of Sasun.”
She also held the California Teacher Credential for life.
Dr. Tashjian’s love for the Armenian heritage and culture was evident in her dedication to the education of the Armenian youth. Her impressive teaching career boasted 5 decades of service to their education, both in Lebanon and in the United States.
In Beirut, she taught social studies at Taruhi Hagopian Secondary School for Girls, and English Language and Literature at Levon and Sophia Hagopian College.
In Los Angeles, she taught Armenian at UCLA’s Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Studies, and held the position of lecturer of Armenian Literature at the Mkhitarian Armenological Academy. Her experience also provided her the opportunity to teach intensive Western Armenian language in Armenia, at the State University of Yerevan in affiliation with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as a Summer Institute, which she did on four different occasions.
In Los Angeles, Hasmig became a pillar at the Alex Pilibos Armenian School where she had 33 years of dedicated service. She was a most loved and respected member of the faculty. She chaired the English Department and oversaw the English program of the entire School. Furthermore, she taught college level advanced English Language and Literature courses to the upper classes. She witnessed the graduation of every class that has walked through the doors at Pilibos in its 40 years of existence.
She was also an associate professor of Armenian Language and Culture at the Pasadena City College, in Pasadena, California, where she taught for the past 20 years.
Dr. Tashjian was a member of many cultural and academic organizations. She held responsible positions in the Hamazkayin Eduacational and Cultural Organization. She was a founding member of the Hamazkayin Antelias Chapter in Lebanon; and while in Los Angeles, she had rendered her services to the Los Angeles Chapter, which she had chaired for a number of years. She had also been a member of the Hamazkayin Regional Executive Committee. She was a member of such prestigious organizations as the Society for Armenian Studies and the Middle East Studies Association. In affiliation with these organizations, she had participated in numerous symposiums and conferences delivering public lectures both in Armenian and English.
Tashjian was a proud alumnae of Central High School. She strongly believed that her sound foundations at CHS, both educational and spiritual, were greatly conducive to the development of her personality and achievements in life.
Funeral services for Dr. Tashjian will be held Thursday, July 29 at 2:30 p.m. at the Old North Church of Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School Dr. Hasmig Tashjian Fund.”