Award Recognizes Vartan Gregorian's Contributions as Higher Education Leader and Foundation Executive

Glendale, CA and New York, NY, November 5, 2009 — Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, will be recognized on November 7 in Los Angeles for his significant and lasting accomplishments as a leader within higher education, libraries and foundations. 

Gregorian will accept the Armenian Professional Society of Los Angeles's Professional of the Year honors at a banquet where he will deliver a speech on the future of public education in the United States. The present economic crisis, he believes, requires an investment in human capital, a fundamental part of which is an excellent high school education that prepares all students to succeed in postsecondary education. Every high school graduate, says Gregorian, should be prepared for upwardly mobile employment and to participate effectively in our diverse democracy. 

The importance of education was highlighted in a recent report, The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy published by Carnegie Corporation and the Institute for Advanced Study. The report recommends concrete actions to a range of organizations from labor and business to federal and state government, colleges and universities, and donors who must coalesce to "do school differently" to transform math and science education. 

Opportunity Equation contends that math and science education today falls far short of meeting students' future needs or the needs of society. And, recent rounds of school reform have paid far too little attention to math and science. Transformation requires schools to inject rigorous and relevant math and science throughout the curriculum. The goal of improving math and science should sound a call for change that will reverberate throughout our schools and increase student learning in all areas.

The APS also honors Dr. Gregorian as a champion of higher education and one of its most action-oriented leaders. 

"I am deeply grateful to the Armenian Professional Society of Los Angeles for honoring me as the 2009 APS Professional of the Year," said Gregorian. "The award is particularly meaningful to me because I believe so deeply in the organization's mission of serving as a bridge between Armenia and the Armenian community in the United States. Armenia is a country with great potential, but it needs equally great expertise if it is to thrive in our increasingly knowledge-based, competitive world."


Vartan Gregorian will be honored at the Armenian Professional Society's annual banquet to be held beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, 333 Universal Hollywood Dr., Universal City. A press meeting is scheduled for November 7, 2009, 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. also at the Sheraton Universal. Additional information on the event including tickets and press attendance is available at

Prior to the banquet, Dr. Gregorian will address and interact with students from Southern California educational institutions at an event organized by the Armenian Librarians and Libraries Information Committee (ALLIC-SoCal) of the American Library Association, in collaboration with the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies and the Glendale Public Library. All participants in the student gathering may submit their questions regarding educational issues and challenges 1 tohyesearch(at) They will be required to present a current school ID at the door for admission to this free program, which will begin at 1:45 p.m.



The Armenian Professional Society (APS) was formed in 1958 for the advancement of education and fellowship among Armenians. The APS acknowledges the achievements of outstanding individuals, encourages students who have attained university education to proceed to post-graduate studies, and has awarded scholarships to graduate students in the United States and grants to institutions of higher learning in Armenia. For more information on APS, visit our website at


Dr. Gregorian is the twelfth president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grant-making institution founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. Prior to his current position, which he assumed in June 1997, Gregorian served for nine years as the sixteenth president of Brown University. And for eight years (1981-1989), Gregorian served as a president of The New York Public Library, an institution with a network of four research libraries and eighty-three circulating libraries.

He was born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents, receiving his elementary education in Iran and his secondary education in Lebanon. In 1956 he entered Stanford University, where he majored in history and the humanities, graduating with honors in 1958. He was awarded a Ph.D. in history and humanities from Stanford in 1964.

Gregorian has taught European and Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State College, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin. In 1972 he joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty and was appointed Tarzian Professor of History and professor of South Asian history. He was founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and four years later became its twenty-third provost until 1981.

Gregorian is the author of The Road To Home: My Life And Times, Islam: A Mosaic, Not A Monolith, and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946. A Phi Beta Kappa and a Ford Foundation Foreign Area Training Fellow, he is a recipient of numerous fellowships, including those from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council and the American Philosophical Society. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. In 1969, he received the Danforth Foundation's E.H. Harbison Distinguished Teaching Award.

In 1986, Gregorian was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and in 1989 the American Academy of the Institute of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Service to the Arts. In 1998, President Clinton awarded him the National Humanities Medal. In 2004, President Bush awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award. He has been honored by various cultural and professional associations, including the Urban League, the League of Women Voters, the Players Club, PEN-American Center, Literacy Volunteers of New York, the American Institute of Architects and the Charles A. Dana Foundation. He has been honored by the city and state of New York, the states of Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, and the cities of Fresno, Austin, Providence and San Francisco.