Vahan and Nooné Janjigian
Vahan and Nooné Janjigian know firsthand the transformative power of the American University of Armenia. They were a part of AUA when the institution opened its doors in 1991, and they have since acclaimed the generations of graduates who have reaffirmed the significance of AUA’s mission and the force of good it represents in Armenia.
Dr. Vahan Janjigian is the Chief Investment Officer at Greenwich Wealth Management and has taught business at AUA in the founding years of the University. He cherishes those years and recalls his involvement as one of the most memorable experiences of his life. His parents were both educated at the American University of Beirut, which had amplified his excitement when he learned that the first American University was opening in Armenia, the first in the former Soviet Union. Despite the unique challenges that the newly independent state faced, Vahan was moved by the enthusiasm and determination of his students who showed up every day to class against all odds.
Nooné is a manager in human resources at PepsiCo. At AUA, she worked as an assistant to AUA Cofounder and President Emeritus Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, who was serving as Dean of Engineering at the time. Nooné grew up in Yerevan. Her parents were both civil engineers, committed to helping Armenia develop and strengthen, as was Nooné who contributed to AUA through her valuable language skills. Concurrently, Nooné was teaching and completing her graduate degree in linguistics at Yerevan State University. Before joining AUA, she had served as an interpreter in the relief efforts following the 1988 earthquake. Nooné and Vahan met at AUA. They have three children — Lori, Luciné and Lily — and reside in New York.
Nooné and Vahan are elated to join the ChangeMaker campaign. Nooné explains, “Armenia’s most important asset is its people and the country’s future is directly tied to the digital economy. In a digital world, it no longer matters that we are landlocked. I believe there is a tremendous opportunity for our youth to not only participate but to be at the forefront of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology. AUA has an essential role to play in equipping students not just with technical knowledge, but also with soft skills that will help them conquer cross-cultural barriers.”
Vahan and Nooné are among other visionary philanthropists who have joined the ChangeMaker campaign, including AUA’s first graduating class, the Class of ‘93. The alumni that contributed to the Class of ‘93 ChangeMaker campaign are some of Vahan’s first students at the University, Vahan elaborates. Their individual and collective legacy will make a great impact and will continue to influence current and future generations of AUA students, faculty and staff, and the larger community.