Since the founding of AUA, Alice Navasargian and her late husband, Edward, have remained strong proponents of the University as well as of its students. The couple forged ties with AUA early on in its development through Dr. Mihran Agbabian and his wife, Elizabeth, who led fundraising efforts throughout the greater California community. Over the years the Navasargian family has supported the education of AUA students by becoming scholarship donors, serving on fundraising committees, including AUA’s successful 25th anniversary banquet in Los Angeles and most recently underwrote the renovation of the Navasargian Lounge, where students can take a break in between studies while overlooking the storied Mount Ararat.
“I really love Armenia and I feel very connected to AUA,” said Alice, who has witnessed the positive growth of the AUA campus and its student body.
“I see that the students are more confident and more comfortable,” said Alice. “I am happy that there is a University like AUA, thanks to the founding fathers who not only had the idea, but implemented it.”
Alice lives and breathes the Armenian culture, as evidenced by the stacks of books filling the wooden bookshelves of her home library atop the hills of Southern California. Leather-bound volumes on Armenian history, culture and language, along with classic American and British literature line the bookshelves. A writer herself, Alice published three extensive and well-reviewed books, including Armenian Women on the Stage, The Immortals: A Brief History of Armenians in Persia and Iran-Armenia Golden Bridges, all of which embody the essence and significance of the Armenian people and its positive and far-reaching impact on society.
Growing up in Tabriz, Iran, in a family that highly valued the Armenian culture and history, Alice felt a deep connection with her heritage, so much so that she pursued a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Armenology and History at the University of Isfahan. A hard-working student, she earned high grades and as a result received the honor of meeting then-Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and his wife, the Empress of Iran Farah Pahlavi. Education remains an integral part of Alice’s life, as exemplified by her commitment to the students of AUA and to Armenia as a whole, receiving the Boghos Nubar Medal from the Republic of Armenia for her great contributions to the preservation of Armenian identity.
Alice’s love for the Armenian people comes from deep within her heart. She and her husband made it their mission to preserve their children’s Armenian identity in America, and after a 10 year stay in Boston, Massachusetts, the couple moved to Los Angeles, California 30 years ago so their three children, and eventually their three grandchildren, could live in a more Armenian-centric environment.
Highly knowledgeable yet humble, Alice is an encyclopedia of information when it comes to all topics Armenian, whether it be about art, theater or literature. Her home reflects her Armenian spirit, where even her coffee cups are designed with letters of the Armenian alphabet, spelling out the welcoming words “Անուշ լինի”.
Active in philanthropic works throughout Armenia and the Diaspora, Alice has received recognition from many notable non-profits and institutions, among them the Glendale Public Library, USC Institute of Armenian Studies and the Western Diocese. She sees the young generation as the future of Armenia and she admires the advancement of female students who are pursuing professions in the sciences.
“I hope they become successful, choose studies they are interested in and remain in Armenia to be helpful to our country,” said Alice.
Alice Navasargian Scholarship Recipients Set for Success in the Field of Computer Science
The Alice Navasargian Scholarship supports AUA students and gives them the chance to excel in their chosen fields. Undergraduates Alisa Martirosyan and Tatevik Azaryan are majoring in computer science, a flourishing major at the University and in Armenia.
For Tatevik, her interest in IT came while she was still in high school, when she learned the basics of programming and programming language. She soon found herself “engaged in the class and enjoying the process of solving problems.” It was then she decided to “dive deeper into computer science and study at AUA.”
She sees herself as a programmer in the future and knows AUA is the key to her future as it “provides numerous resources and opportunities for self-development, organizes many useful events that can have an impact on the career of students, from new connections to internships and job offers.”
Though the course load is challenging, Tatevik appreciates the fact that she has learned how to become a better student.
“AUA has put a lot of pressure on me and thanks to that I understand how important time management is,” said Tatevik, who is a freshman. “I have already acquired a large amount of knowledge which will be needed in my future profession and I’m curious to see what’s coming next semester.”
During her childhood, Alisa often found herself trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. After winning several computer science-related competitions in middle school, she decided to pursue the field and combine it with her interests in biochemistry and medicine, with the goal of becoming a biomedical engineer through her efforts and the education she receives at AUA.
“The idea of being educated in AUA pushes me to concentrate all my strength and abilities and become a part of this big community,” said Alisa, who is a freshman. “The University’s Computer Science program is one of the most powerful ones in our country and I have already acquired a lot of knowledge.”
Alisa notes that in addition to her studies, AUA has helped her grow as a person and become more confident and determined in achieving her goals.
“AUA teaches us how to think and solve problems not only in our field but also in life.”