Tribute to the Memory of AUA’s Fallen Student Soldiers

YEREVAN, Armenia — On May 27, 2021, the American University of Armenia (AUA) community came together to honor the University’s fallen heroes. In a memorial event recognizing the sacrifice of seven brave student soldiers who gave their lives defending the homeland in the 2020 Artsakh War, AUA paid tribute to Shavarsh Muradyan, Davit Uzunyan, Davit Virabyan, Erik Hajikyan, Aziz Aghajanyan, Areg Gevorgyan, and Hakob Hakobyan.

The memorial event was co-organized by students and AUA CARES and took place in the Alex and Marie Manoogian Hall. It began with a moment of silence mourning their loss, followed by speeches and anecdotes shared by friends of the fallen soldiers and musical renditions in their honor.

“We are gathered here today to honor our beloved, fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for their country. No nation can ever repay that debt to them or their families. No nation can ask for that sacrifice, for no nation deserves it. This sacrifice is an act of grace on the part of those who gave it: an act of selfless, giving, unconditional love. These men were brothers, sons, grandsons, nephews, friends, classmates, future husbands and future fathers of sons, future fathers of daughters, and future grandparents to grandchildren. They were the doctors, engineers, teachers, inventors, and leaders of our tomorrow. Now lost. But never forgotten,” AUA Provost Dr. Brian Ellison somberly shared.

Following that, AUA presented the families of the fallen students with recognition certificates as a symbol of the University’s gratitude and honor to have had them as students. The certificates were printed on paper made from flowers placed at the Armenian Genocide Memorial and the students’ names were handwritten by calligraphy artist and Adjunct Lecturer at the AUA College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) Ruben Malayan.

At the end of the event, attendees headed to the Office of the Registrar to pay their respect stopping by the row of portraits of the seven students. They will be held dear by the AUA community. The legacies of Shavarsh, Davit, Davit, Erik, Aziz, Areg, and Hakob will continue to live on through the named scholarships established in their honor to help educate future student veterans through the endowment fund established as part of the “Honoring Those Who Served: Investing in our Veterans’ Education” endowed scholarship campaign.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.