It is with great sadness that FAR must say goodbye to Jerair Nishanian, a dear friend of our organization, devoted partner, and an exceptional human being, who passed away on March 13th.
“Jerair was a visionary who saw higher education as the key to bringing up the next generation of great thinkers and innovators. He was dedicated to helping youth from poor families who otherwise would not have been able to send their children to university. And whenever he could, he forged personal connections with the students he assisted, motivating and inspiring them,” said FAR Executive Director Garnik Nanagoulian.
Jerair was deeply influenced by his parents’ past and he developed strong feelings for his heritage and ancestral motherland, Armenia. He always felt a sense of duty and a deep desire to provide assistance to orphaned children and underprivileged young Armenians so that they could nurture their talents and achieve their God-given potential.
Through his Nishanian Foundation, Jerair created the Jerair Nishanian Scholarship Program, which FAR launched in 2002. The first scholarships were provided solely to students at Gavar State University (GSU) in Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province. Support for GSU expanded in 2005 with funding for the renovation of its Faculty of Humanities and some additional classrooms through the Nishanian Foundation. In 2010, the foundation started to sponsor the ever-expanding use of the university’s telecommunications.
In 2007, the Jerair Nishanian Scholarship began to assist students at the National Polytechnic University of Armenia in Yerevan, and in 2011 the students at the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia (Yerevan). Himself an exceptional civil engineer, Jerair’s extension of sponsorship to aspiring young architects and engineers was very dear to his heart.
In all, the Jerair Nishanian Scholarship Program has helped around 600 students from low-income families to receive a higher education since it began. Each of them has asked us to convey their deepest sympathies to Jerair’s loved ones.
Moreover, the foundation supported the families of fallen heroes of the Artsakh War, including the family of 19-year-old Narek Varzhapetyan, a former Jerair Nishanian Scholarship student.
A beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, Jerair will be greatly missed by all of us at FAR.