Elizabeth Aslanian Lorenzoni
For Elizabeth Aslanian Lorenzoni, the desire to connect with her heritage, coupled with her mother’s philanthropic path, influenced her to join the ChangeMakers campaign.Through this decision, Elizabeth believes her generation has the opportunity to make a big impact.
Growing up in New York as the second daughter of John and Carol (Bagdasarian) Aslanian, Elizabeth, who goes by Liz, obtained her primary education at the Chapin School, pursued her undergraduate studies at Cornell University, and later on obtained her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School, where she met her husband, who is of Italian and French descent. Today, they reside in Chicago with their two young children, where Liz holds a Sales Leadership position at LinkedIn.
“My mother, Carol Aslanian, has been a Board Member of AUA for more years than I can remember and has attended meetings and other convenings of the University for decades. As she shared with me and my sister the amazing accomplishments of the University and the unmatched contributions it makes to the country, it has made me proud of what the institution has done and, more importantly, what it can achieve in the future,” Liz remarks. She recently had the opportunity to visit AUA on a trip to Armenia, where she was inspired to become a ChangeMaker and follow suit, hoping to make a significant impact herself.
This trip was her second to the homeland, the first being with her father in the late 1990’s, where she visited through Land and Culture, helping to restore a school in the village of Tatev. On the latest occasion, she was able to bring her husband, and with her mother, they enjoyed the history and character of the country, even making a trip back to Tatev via the cableway. Liz says, “I am very proud of my Armenian heritage and always seek more information about its amazing past as well as current conditions so that I can help wherever I can.”
With her mother’s endless devotion and spirit of generosity toward predominantly Armenian causes and philanthropic interests, Liz began to grow affectionate toward the same institutions her mother has supported, and hopes to follow in her footsteps. “I hope that my son, Sebastian, and daughter, Elise, will see and appreciate life beyond their own circumstances. I want them to believe in my mother’s favorite saying, ‘it is better to give than to receive’ — I cannot tell anyone how many times I have heard her say this and how it has impacted my sister and me, and now her grandchildren.” Liz believes her mother picked this up from her own mother, Liz’s grandmother, who was a Genocide survivor, lived seven years in a distant orphanage, and later lost her husband at a young age. Becoming widowed at 39 years old, she was left alone with four children, but still managed to raise them and get them through graduate schools, often saying that education was something that couldn’t be taken away. Her grandmother’s influence trickled down to her mother, and now to Liz. “My mother has left us all with lasting tenets of life and worthwhile goals to achieve — namely helping others in need wherever and whenever we can.”
As a ChangeMaker, Liz is calling on an emerging group of new philanthropists to band together and become a new stepping stone built on top of the foundation our preceding generations have laid for us. She believes her generation needs to be able to identify and understand the current needs of Armenia to develop lasting prosperity for the nation. “An institution such as AUA can do much not only to preserve our cultural identity, but also to teach us about what the future state of Armenia requires and how we can contribute to its forward-looking mission. AUA and Higher Education in Armenia play a critical role in fueling the sustainability and future economic success of the nation. These institutions are the cornerstone of our ability to meet the changing needs of a global society and ensure Armenia will be an active and valuable participant.” She further praises AUA’s partnership with the University of California, one she believes provides the ability to bring “the most innovative and current thinking to its students and the challenges they seek to solve in Armenia.”
“In my recent trip to Armenia with my mother and husband, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand what an exceptional academic environment AUA offers and view it as an indispensable asset to the country’s future,” Liz remarks.
AUA is looking forward to growing together and building lasting relations with the next generation of AUA supporters.