Earlier this year, we lost a loved and respected member of the American University of Armenia (AUA) community, Dr. Krikor Soghikian. Dr. Soghikian had been an invaluable supporter of AUA, whose leadership and dedication played a vital role in the establishment of AUA’s School of Public Health. He was a forward-thinking leader and compassionate teacher whose love for AUA inspired everyone he came in contact with, especially his many students who remember him fondly. He served as Visiting Professor of Public Health and as a director of students’ Master’s theses. He also contributed to the curriculum development of the Public Health program, whose graduates have been shaping the future of public health in Armenia and around the world for the past 20 years.
Dr. Soghikian’s generosity extended beyond creating programs and teaching students. He and his wife Caline funded the establishment of the Public Health Reference Room at AUA, which now carries his name and serves as the best resource for AUA’s Public Health students and community members in this field. He also created and led the “Friends of AUA” group in the Bay Area to help provide fundraising opportunities that would support the university’s future.
When Dr. Soghikian passed away this January, his family established the AUA Krikor and Caline Soghikian Scholarship Fund to honor his memory. Now, thanks to the generous support of the community, especially Dr. Soghikian’s children, Shahan and Maida, this fund has grown into an endowed scholarship, which means that it will cover full tuition for one deserving AUA student every year, for perpetuity. The Krikor and Caline Scholarship Fund, with an endowment of $55,000, carries on Dr. Soghikian’s legacy of dedication to the field of public health and service to his homeland. “He would always say that people will come and go, but our homeland and our nation will remain,” remembers his wife, Caline. “He was patriotic in the true sense of the word, and filled with love.”
The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve the health of the populace and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals and others to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.