BY JOYCE ABDULIAN
LOS ANGELES—Dr. Daniel and Mrs. Juliette Abdulian will be honored for their many years of selfless devotion to the C&E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School of Sherman Oaks, at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, at the Phoenicia Restaurant/Banquet Hall in Glendale.
When Dr. Abdulian and Juliette were asked to express their feelings about Merdinian, they both shared the same attributes: The Merdinian School is an oasis of learning, with dedicated teachers and administrators in a safe, Christian learning environment. It is praiseworthy for its award- winning excellent academics, with an emphasis on Armenian Christian heritage and culture. High school principals praise our students and wish all their students came from Merdinian.
Founded jointly in 1982 by the Armenian Missionary Association of America and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA), it has been a beacon of outstanding Armenian Christian education. A substantial donation from Elise Merdinian to the AMAA, earmarked for an Armenian school, prompted the naming of the school after her and sister Charlotte. Merdinian often came to the campus to “see my beautiful children.”
Dr. Abdulian was born to Hovhannes and Martha Churukian Abdulian in Kessab, Syria. Their family life was centered around the Armenian Evangelical Church of Kessab. Hovhannes was one of the founding members of this church, and a respected leader in the community. He was also instrumental in bringing the AGBU to Kessab.
Dr. Abdulian left Kessab at age 14 to attend the Melkonian Institute of Learning in Cyprus on a full scholarship. Thereafter, he received his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from the American University of Beirut. Coming to the U.S., he received his Masters and Doctor of Medicine Degree at the University of Illinois. His residency in Internal Medicine was at the prestigious Mayo Clinic. He devotedly served the community for 55 years before retiring.
Dr. Abdulian has been a long time supporter of the AEUNA, AGBU, and AMAA— serving on its board for many years. He and his late wife Anush, with their three children, were active members of UACC. Having a deep love for music, he sang in the UACC Chancel Choir for many years under the direction of Hrant Agbabian.
Juliette Ishkanian Abdulian grew up in Aleppo, Syria. Her life revolved around family and the Emmanuel Armenian Evangelical Church. She was immersed in all aspects of church life—singing and being a soloist in the church choir, teaching Sunday school, and serving on the Christian Education Board. She attended the American High School for Girls
Juliette came to Chicago, married husband Varoujan Vartanian and had four children. They worshiped in the Chicago Armenian Evangelical church where Juliette was a leader— Chairman of the Board of Trustees, planning church fund-raisers, serving on the ladies committees, and being totally dedicated and helpful. She was on the AMAA Board for 15 years, going with them to Armenia on their first humanitarian trip following the earthquake.
She and Varoujan opened the Chicago landmark Armenian restaurant Casbah, and ran it for 33 years, garnering many awards. Following her husband’s passing, Juliette retired.
When Juliette came to Los Angeles and married Dr. Abdulian, Elizabeth Agbabian invited her to serve on the Merdinian Ladies Auxiliary. The rest is history. Being totally devoted to the school and also a School Board member, she has made her mark in many ways—Involved in many fundraising activities for the school, she was also instrumental in obtaining the $1,000,000 donation for the state-of–the-art Bezjian Family Building; where each classroom has been equipped with the latest in technology.
Merdinian is blessed to have devoted volunteers as Dr. Daniel and Juliette, who consider Merdinian as family—loving the school’s mission, deeply caring for the student’s welfare, giving most generously, and certainly appreciating the teachers and principal who consider their job a calling—an endeavor to enrich the minds and hearts of each and every child in their care.
For information please call: Merdinian (818) 907.8149 or Dr. Vahe Nalbandian (818) 507.9848. Tickets are $125. Sponsorships are encouraged.