As the United States marks the 245th anniversary of Independence, the New York Times celebrates Aurora co-founder Vartan Gregorian’s contribution to American life.
Vartan, Greogian, the 12th president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, founded the Corporation’s Great Immigrants Great Americans initiative in 2006. An Armenian born and raised in Iran, Gregorian arrived in America in 1956 to study at Stanford University and proceeded to rise to the highest levels of higher of higher education and philanthropy as a naturalized US citizen, recognized with Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Gregorian, who dies unexpectedly in April 2021, improved the lives of countless individuals around the world through his wisdom, insights and influence,” the New York Times writes.
“We celebrate and recognize him with this year’s honorees for his dedication to and belief in democracy, education, international peace and all of humanity,” the paper says.
Co-Founder and member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, an outstanding Armenian-American humanitarian, scholar, author, educator and mentor Vartan Gregorian passed away on April 16 aged 87.
Vartan Gregorian was a man of great inner strength, a reservoir of compassion and infinite wisdom. He was awarded numerous fellowships, including from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Philosophical Society. In addition, he has received scores of honorary degrees and has been decorated by the French, Italian, Austrian, and Portuguese governments.
In his lifelong mission to achieve global prosperity and peace, Vartan Gregorian always spoke up on behalf of the most destitute and disenfranchised. Committed to the eradication of genocide, discrimination and persecution, he has become a mentor and a beacon of hope for all inspired by his empathy and determination. He guided the younger generation with kindness and acuity, changing lives and constantly leading by personal example of selflessness and commitment.
A prolific author, Vartan Gregorian published several books, including The Road To Home: My Life and Times, Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith, and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946.
In 2015, together with Noubar Afeyan and Ruben Vardanyan, he co-founded the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and its flagship program, the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, seek to transform this experience into a global movement by addressing on-the-ground humanitarian challenges around the world with the focus on helping the destitute.