Dr. Aso Tavitian Met with RAU Students
On September 27, Honorary Doctor of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston, and founder of the Tavitian Foundation Aso Tavitian met with RAU students.
RAU Rector Prof. Armen Darbinyan greeted the guest and emphasized that he was honored to host him at Russian-Armenian University, which had 2 alumni at the Fletcher School who had benefited from the Tavitian Foundation’s scholarship program. He also said that he was proud of the younger generation that had a potential to create a prosperous Armenia.
The guest has an inspiring biography - he came from a family of Genocide survivors, was born in Bulgaria and lived in Lebanon, where he received full scholarship to the Haigazian College. Dr. Tavitian had no means to cover the living expenses, and it was his high school teacher of quite a modest income that helped him out, anonymously. The generous act inspired Dr. Tavitian to establish years after a scholarship program to help young Armenian and Bulgarian professionals. He later immigrated to the U.S., obtained an M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from Columbia University, strived to become an academician and even completed his Ph.D. thesis, only to shift to business and enter the software industry. Having a flair for business, Dr. Tavitian helped Syncsort, one of the earliest and most successful software companies in the U.S., along with IBM, to take off.
Dr. Aso Tavitian mentioned that one of the reasons for his success was the fact that his family had lost its fortune twice and had to rebuild everything anew. In a way, money was never the key factor in his business; it was creating a company with intelligent people. Another condition for his success was the open business environment of the United States.
As the Tavitian Scholarship Program aims to strengthen the Armenian governance via creating educational opportunities for young professional, the students asked about the qualities that Dr. Tavitian would have liked to see in the young generation of Armenia. The speaker said, “First, be yourself! If you are young and ambitious, you will go forward. Never stop looking at the next step”. He mentioned that the Tavitian Scholarship Program had a significant impact for a whole country given its small scale and he was glad he could be of help others.
The Tavitian Foundation is a private foundation that initiated the Tavitian Scholarship Program, a six-month training program for Armenian mid-career professionals from governmental agencies. The foundation aims at strengthening governance in the Republic of Armenia, supporting educational opportunities for individuals of Armenian ethnicity, supporting research on issues of significance for a globalized world and the arts. Its alumni are employed at the Central Bank of Armenia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, President’s Office, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Parliament and Government of Armenia and other institutions.