Christopher, Sebastian, and Katherine Petrossian

AUA’s youngest ChangeMakers, Christopher, Sebastian, and Katherine Petrossian, have taken on sponsorship of AUA at their early age. They are the grandchildren of AUA supporters Vahik and Alice Petrossian, and their gift to the University carries on Alice and Vahik’s legacy of allowing the University to flourish.

“The key to the future of our homeland and of AUA is in the hands of our next generation, and what better way to contribute to that process than engaging our grandchildren,” Alice Petrossian remarks on enrolling their grandchildren as ChangeMakers. “Our dream is to connect the next generation with Armenia and AUA. Christopher, Sebastian, and Katherine visit Armenia often. On their next visit, we hope to have them tour the AUA campus and see the ChangeMaker wall to understand that they are now a part of the AUA family and bear the responsibility of supporting AUA’s mission.The connections made at a young age, an impressionable age, will also build character. Our grandchildren volunteer in several programs and projects, but being a benefactor is the next important step to take and nurture in them the spirit of giving. We encourage other grandparents to join us and model the importance of supporting a cause that matters while sharing the joy of giving with those they cherish the most, their grandchildren.”

Alice and Vahik, both grandchildren of genocide survivors, were born and spent their early years in Iran before emigrating to the United States. Alice Petrossian has guest lectured at AUA for many years teaching freshman English. Alice describes the high quality of AUA students and enjoys the annual graduation ceremony in celebration of their achievements. Alice takes pride in her parents, Hacob and Mina Shirvanian, who were dedicated Armenian patriots and volunteered in many initiatives and established the Shirvanian Family Foundation to support Armenian causes. Through this gift from the foundation, Christopher, Sebastian, and Katherine Petrossian join the exclusive group of AUA ChangeMakers.

“We believe in grounding future decisions on data and research. The ChangeMaker campaign will provide that capacity and shape the vision to look at the future and work through evidence to offer answers to needs in multiple disciplines,” states Alice. “Vahik and I see AUA as the model for ethical, visionary, rigorous higher education institution that can, in the near future, compete globally with the best higher education institutions. As a lifelong education leader in both K-12 and Higher Education systems in California, I celebrate “student-focused” institutions and AUA definitely is such an institution. Our dream as a family is to improve education in Armenia, we understand that the geographic regions are the key for that dream to become a reality. AUA’s willingness to include and provide educational equity and access to all of our Nations youth in the regions makes us very proud.”

“The world is watching,” Alice continued. “What we do now will speak loudly and carry the message we want to convey as Armenians. Make a difference. Become a ChangeMaker.”

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