Honorees Agbabian, Phillips Respond Humbly to AMAA-Haigazian 2014 Tribute

L to R - Honoree George R. Phillips Esq., Susie Phillips, Elizabeth Agbabian and Honoree Dr. Mihran Agbabian

L to R – Honoree George R. Phillips Esq., Suzie Phillips, Elizabeth Agbabian and Honoree Dr. Mihran Agbabian

Excitement filled the ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel on November 15 when organizers and guests gathered to honor Dr. Mihran Agbabian and George R. Phillips, Sr., Esq. at the AMAA-Haigazian University Celebratory Banquet co-chaired by Joyce Abdulian and Ken Kevorkian. Prayers were offered, anthems and music were sung, videos were shown, and genuine tributes were paid to these two men who are champions of the AMAA, Haigazian University, and a myriad of worthy institutions within the Armenian Community. Both honorees are former AMAA Board Members.

          The distinguished recipients were introduced, Mihran Agbabian by Savey Tufenkian and George Phillips by Joyce Philibosian Stein. Mrs. Tufenkian underscored Dr. Agbabian’s efforts to help Armenia after

L to R - Banquet Co-Chair Joyce Abdulian, Honoree Dr. Mihran Agbabian and Savey Tufenkian

L to R – Banquet Co-Chair Joyce Abdulian, Honoree Dr. Mihran Agbabian and Savey Tufenkian

the 1988 earthquake and charged everyone who travels to Armenia to visit the American University of Armenia. Dr. Agbabian, a distinguished graduate of the American University of Beirut, Cal Tech, and UC Berkeley, is an eminent authority in seismic engineering and the founding President and President Emeritus of AUA. He is also a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This former Dean of Engineering at USC, and past Vice President of the AMAA, recollected working with George Phillips in support of various organizations, large and small, and said he was “grateful to God and for the challenge to serve.”

          Mrs. Stein described George Phillips as a trusted friend and advisor and anticipated that his work “will continue to bear fruit.” Mr. Phillips, a graduate of UCLA and UCLA Law School, and founder of the oldest Armenian law firm in Los Angeles, is a firm believer in education.

L to R - Honoree George R. Phillips, Esq., Joyce Philibosian Stein and Banquet Co-Chair Ken Kevorkian

He was named the C & E Merdinian School “Man of the Year” in 2007 and was also recognized as “Man of the Year” by the AGBU for his service to the Armenian Community in So. Calif. He praised the AMAA, founded 96 years ago, and Haigazian University for their foundations of faith and spoke of the Christian values underscored at Haigazian University, stressing that “every person can make a difference through their actions.” A Korean War veteran, Mr. Phillips, in his response, remembered the attack on Pearl Harbor when he was 13 and indicated that Armenian history seemed to be repeating itself from 100 years ago.

The honorees were presented with framed certificates by the co-chairs who had orchestrated a memorable event. Their supportive wives, Elizabeth Agbabian and Suzie Phillips, are founding/continuing members of the Haigazian University Women’s Auxiliary LA and the AMAA Child and Orphan Care Committee.

Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director-CEO addressing the guests on behalf of AMAA

Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director-CEO addressing the guests on behalf of AMAA

Levon Filian, AMAA West Coast Executive Directed addressing the guests

Levon Filian, AMAA West Coast Executive Director addressing the guests

The  recently installed Executive Director/CEO of the Armenia Missionary Association of America, Zaven Khanjian, clearly remembered his family’s arrival in the U.S. from the Middle East in 1979 as a direct result of war and unrest. He spoke compassionately about the AMAA and its “mission of rescue.”

At the podium, West Coast AMAA Executive Director Levon Filian put it this way: “A good cause and a good committee results in complete success!”

Haigazian University President Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, who had traveled 7,000 miles from Beirut, paid tribute to the honorees and emphasized the importance of being positive examples to the world. He called Haigazian constructively unique and thanked Dr. Agbabian, Mr. Phillips, and everyone in the room for supporting Haigazian.

 

Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of Haigazian University addressing the guests on behalf of Haigazian University

Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of Haigazian University addressing the guests on behalf of Haigazian University

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Rev. Ron Tovmassian, Moderator of the AEUNA brings greetings from the Union

 

 

 

Arriving from Armenia just minutes before being called to the microphone, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian brought regards from the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church and expressed his wholehearted congratulations to the worthy honorees and organizations.

          The event raised more than $400,000 to be divided equally by the AMAA and Haigazian University.
       The printed program contained greetings from the co-chairs, biographies of the honorees, and congratulatory messages from Dr. Joe Zeronian, President of the AMAA who thanked “all those who are in attendance this evening,” Dr. Ani Darakjian, Chair of the Haigazian University Board of Trustees, and the Trustees of the Stephen Philibosian Foundation, plus the appreciation lists of sponsors, supporters, and committee members.

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, brings the greetings of the Diocese

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, brings the greetings of the Diocese

 

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