The New Jewish Home mourns the passing of visionary academic, historian and educator Vartan Gregorian. We were grateful to have honored Mr. Gregorian at our 2018 Eight over Eighty Gala. Please watch this wonderful short video from the 2018 gala.
Vartan Gregorian was the twelfth president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grant-making institution founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. He also served for nine years as the sixteenth president of Brown University after serving for eight years (1981-1989) as a president of the New York Public Library, an institution with a network of four research libraries and eighty-three circulating libraries.
Born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents, Vartan Gregorian received 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 PhD in history and humanities from Stanford in 1964.
Vartan Gregorian was 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. He was 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.
He served on several boards including the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and the American Academy in Berlin. He served on the boards of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Aga Khan University, the Qatar Foundation, the McGraw-Hill Companies, Brandeis University, Human Rights Watch, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 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.