After more than 4,000 guests witnessed the dedication of the new Armenian Genocide Monument at Fresno State last night, students will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the date when the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians began in the Ottoman Turkish Empire with a special ceremony at noon.
University President Joseph I. Castro proclaimed today (April 24) as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and will speak at the ceremony planned by the Armenian Students Organization at the new monument located on the Maple Mall, west of the Peters Business Building. Public parking is free in lots P5 and P6 for today’s event.
The keynote speaker will be alumnus Arakel Arisian, a professor of finance and business law. Arisian is a former student body president as well as former Armenian Students Organization president. Current ASI president Moses Menchaca will also address the campus community.
At 19 seconds past noon, the carillon in the University Student Union clock tower will play “The Bells of Peace” for 15 minutes (to represent the year 1915) in memory of the victims and survivors of the genocide. Family members of genocide survivors will share thoughts, and students of the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School will sing.
The remembrance will close with a placing of carnations on the Armenian Genocide Monument.
At last night’s ceremony, Castro said the monument, which was financed with community donations, demonstrates the University’s commitment to human rights and justice on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
“This monument will be here for generations to come. It will be a visible reminder each day, for all of us, that even when a devastating tragedy like the Genocide occurs, hope, then joy can follow,” Castro said.
Fresno State is the only college campus in the United States with such a monument. See the dedication photo gallery at bit.ly/FS-ArmenianGenMonPics.
Today’s full program:
- Welcoming remarks – Professor Barlow Der Mugrdechian, Armenian Studies Program
- Introduction of Armenian Students Organization executives – Marine Vardanyan, Ovsanna Simonyan, Tatevik Hovhannisyan, Lilit Grigoryan and Haverj Stanboulian
- Associated Student Inc. proclamation – ASI President, Moses Menchaca and ASI Vice President of External Affairs, Kiran Dhanjan
- Musical performance and recitation – Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School:
“Soorperoo Achkeruh” (The Eyes of the Saints) “Kilikia”
“Bidi Inas” by Vahan Tekeyan Haverj Stanboulian
- Survivor recollections: Memoirs – Megi Hakobjanyan and Tadeh Issakhanian
- Fresno State proclamation – Dr. Joseph I. Castro, Fresno State President
- Keynote speaker – Professor Arakel Arisian: Finance & Business Law, former ASO President
- “1915 – Never Again” rap – Menas Arisian and Chorus-Tatevik Hovhannisyan, Sosse Kendoyan, Faten Myaznih-Kassabian, Aramayis Orkusyan, Gayane Petrosyan
- Placing of carnations on Armenian Genocide Monument – “Hovern Engan” by Aramayis Orkusyan
- Original press release
- Monument dedication photo gallery
- Armenian Genocide Monument at Fresno State video
- Campus map