WASHINGTON, D.C. – Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) longtime trustee Elizabeth Agbabian, a respected leader in the Armenian American community, was awarded the Movses Khorenatsi Medal last month by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on the 99th anniversary of the First Republic.
In a written statement, President Sargsyan stated: “I decided to award E. Agbabian with the Movses Khorentsi Medal on the occasion of our national holiday for her outstanding work in the preservation of the Armenian nation.”
The Movses Khorenatsi Medal is Armenia’s highest cultural award, which is given to individuals who are actively engaged in the development of Armenian culture, in addition to achievements in art, literature, education, social sciences, and sports.
The Armenian Embassy in Washington, D.C. put out a statement describing Mrs. Agbabian as “one of the most active and respected leaders in the Armenian-American community.” It continued: “We extend to Mrs. Agbabian and Dr. Mihran Agbabian our heartfelt congratulations and profound respects.”
Mrs. Agbabian, alongside her husband Dr. Mihran Agbabian, played a critical role in establishing the American University of Armenia, an educational institution which is considered to be one of the best in the nation. They were supportive of many groundbreaking initiatives on the West Coast, including the opening of Armenia’s Consulate General in Los Angeles. Mrs. Agbabian is also one of the co-founders of the Armenian International Women’s Association in Los Angeles (AIWA-LA), a nonprofit organization, dedicated to promoting and enriching “the social, economic and personal advancement of Armenian women worldwide through educational and other community activities that unite Armenian women, promote gender equity, and emphasize our Armenian cultural heritage.”
Mrs. Agbabian has earned many prestigious awards over the years. She received the Humanitarian Award of Ararat Home of Los Angeles in 1994, proclamation of Pontifical Blessings from His Holiness Karekin II in 2003, Tribute Certificate of Appreciation from the Board of the Armenian Missionary Association of America in 2003, Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2006, and the Gold Medal of the Ministry of the Diaspora of the Armenian Government in 2011.
Mrs. and Dr. Agbabian have been members of the Assembly since its beginnings. Mrs. Agbabian served on the Assembly’s Board of Directors from 1992-1999. Her husband, Dr. Agbabian, was Co-Chair of the Assembly from 1982-1983 and served on the Board of Directors from 1979-1986. Mrs. Agbabian hosted many events in Los Angeles, and her consistent efforts have helped expand the Assembly’s membership base in Southern California. Along with her colleagues Flora Dunaians and Savey Tufenkian, Elizabeth Agbabian was honored during the 40th Anniversary Gala with the Distinguished Humanitarian Award for her dedicated service to the Assembly.
“An activist all her life, Elizabeth Agbabian is a pillar of the Armenian American community. Together with her husband Mihran they have served for decades with distinction on the Armenian Assembly’s Board. It has been our honor and privilege to work with them throughout the years as we advance our shared goals,” Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian stated. “We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Elizabeth and her family,” they added.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a 501©(3) tax-exempt membership organization.
Photo Caption 1: Dr. Mihran and Elizabeth Agbabian at the Armenian Assembly of America’s Gala “Celebrating the Future” on March 4, 2017, honoring the 40th anniversary of the Assembly’s Terjenian-Thomas Internship Program.