Merdinian School’s 36th Anniversary Banquet Honors Dr. John and Mrs. Mary Kassabian

By Louisa Janbazian

On Sunday, May 6, 2018, friends and supporters of the C & E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School gathered at Vertigo Hall in Glendale, CA to celebrate the School’s 36th Anniversary Banquet.

After the welcoming remarks of the Banquet Co-Chair Rita Meneshian, MC Diana Mangioglu Nazarian invited Rev. Dr. Vartkes Kassouni, former Minister of the United Armenian Congregational Church and one of the pioneers of Merdinian School, for the invocation. Following the national anthems of the United States and Armenia, sung by a group of Merdinian students, Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, President of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), delivered greetings from the AMAA and once again reassured the Association’s continued support for the School.

Before inviting Principal Lina Arslanian to deliver her remarks, Mrs. Nazarian acknowledged the outstanding Armenian, Christian-based education provided by Merdinian School and praised the Principal and the teachers for their devotion. Mrs. Arslanian then shared some of the School’s achievements and announced the School Board’s decision to offer Armenian language instruction in both the Eastern and Western Armenian dialects beginning with the next academic year.

Alidz Agbabian, a gifted storyteller, entertained the guests by telling the folk tale of the legendary Gor who was one of the heroes of ancient Armenian legends.

After a delicious dinner, talented vocalist Anna Boyrazian entertained the guests with her beautiful voice, offering a selection of Armenian and classical songs. Dr. Vahe Nalbandian, Chairman of the School Board, greeted the guests and expressed his appreciation to the Co-Chairs Rita Meneshian and Louisa Janbazian, and members of the Banquet Committee. Dr. Nalbandian then introduced the Honorees, Dr. John and Mrs. Mary Kassabian, and thanked them for their many years of support, friendship and hospitality. Over the years, the Kassabians hosted many Merdinian School fundraising events at their beautiful home in Pasadena. A gift and a certificate of recognition were presented to the Kassabians as a small token of appreciation.

Merdinian School PTO Treasurer Tamar Poladian-Perron presented a check for $20,000 to the School. Likewise, the Women’s Auxiliary Co-Chairs, Ani Hanessian and Louisa Janbazian, presented the School with a check for $20,000 in support of the School’s scholarship program.

The enjoyable evening concluded with a closing prayer by Pastor Harut Khachatryan, Youth Pastor of United Armenian Congregational Church.

The C & E Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School is the only Armenian Evangelical School in the United States. The School offers a broad-based curriculum that fosters academic excellence, high moral values, and spiritual enrichment in the Armenian Evangelical tradition. The School strives to create a safe and nurturing environment where every student receives personal attention to become a successful and responsible individual.