R 386
97-H 7022
Passed in House
Jun. 24, 1997

H O U S E   RR E S O L U T I O N


WHEREAS, Oft proclaimed the "Land of Opportunity," America's rich tradition of welcoming immigrants to its shores and affording these eager men and women the opportunity to strive to attain their personal goals in life has no greater exemplar than Vartan Gregorian. A gentleman with too many accomplishments to easily list, this Iranian-born grandson of an innkeeper for camel caravans is an internationally respected author, scholar, university administrator and humanitarian. As the beloved and thoroughly respected President of Brown University, his tenure of service at that great university has earned our multi-talented friend and guest the unqualified admiration and respect of every member of this House; and

WHEREAS, Born in Tabriz, Iran, to Samuel B. and Shushanik G. (Mirzaian) Gregorian on April 8, 1934, Vartan Gregorian came to the United States in 1956. A 1955 graduate of Armenian College, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1958, and his Ph.D. in 1964, from Stanford University. His many outstanding career achievements have led to Honorary degrees from: Boston University (1983); Brown University (1984); Johns Hopkins University (1987); New York University (1987); the University of Pennsylvania (1988); Dartmouth College (1989); CUNY (1990); and Tufts University (1994); and

WHEREAS, Vartan Gregorian's remarkable academic career carried him from Instructor to Assistant Professor to Associate Professor of History at San Francisco State College (1962-68). An Associate Professor at UCLA in 1968, he progressed from Associate Professor to Professor at the University of Texas (1968-72), where he was also the Director of Special Programs (1970-72); and

WHEREAS, The Tarzian Professor of Armenian and Caucasian History at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (1972-80), Vartan Gregorian also served as the university's Dean of Faculty Arts and Sciences (1974-78) and as Provost (1978-80); and

WHEREAS, Dr. Gregorian was President of the New York Public Library (1981-88), while also serving as a professor at New York College's New School for Social Research (1984-89) and as Professor of History and Near Eastern Studies at New York University (1984-89). He became the President of Brown University in 1989; and

WHEREAS, As the celebrated leader of Rhode Island's Ivy League representative, Vartan Gregorian increased minority enrollment at Brown, raised the university's endowment, refurbished a number of its historic buildings and encouraged the hiring of an erudite and committed young faculty. Concerned that higher education should also lead to genuine enlightenment and the realization of one's social responsibilities, President Gregorian has always encouraged Brown students to strive toward developing greater empathy with the community's struggling social and racial minorities; and

WHEREAS, The author of The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946, Vartan Gregorian's social consciousness has guided him to service on the Boards of Director of such important entities as: the Institute for Advanced Study at Boston University; the J. Paul Getty Trust; the Aaron Diamond Foundation; the Brookings Institutions; the Institute for International Education; and the International League of Human Rights; and

WHEREAS, A decorated Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, Dr. Gregorian's distinguished career has also been recognized with the Danforth E.H. Harbison Teaching Award; the Cactus Teaching Award; Phi Lambda Theta and Phi Delta Kappa's Award of Distinction; the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Silver Cultural Medal; the Gold Medal of Honor of the City and Province of Vienna, Austria; the 1st Distinguished Humanist Award of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council; the Fellowship Committee of Philadelphia's National Fellowship Award; recognition by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation; and too many additional honors to mention; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby recognizes the long and distinguished career of retired Brown University President Vartan Gregorian. A revered scholar, administrator and humanitarian, this House salutes President Gregorian for his myriad and diverse accomplishments at Brown University, while wishing him continued success and fulfillment as he leaves the Ocean State to meet the challenges of his new position as the President of New York's philanthropic Carnegie Corporation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to retired Brown University President Vartan Gregorian.

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