FAR is greatly saddened by the loss of Anoush Mathevosian. A visionary in philanthropy, a dedicated supporter of FAR, and a friend, Anoush passed away last week in New York at the age of 86.
A former nurse, she became a self-made real estate entrepreneur, through which she supported numerous initiatives to improve lives in Armenia and strengthen the fabric of the nation.
One of her most well-known endeavors was the creation of the Mathevosian Scholarship Program, which has helped more than 500 students to attend university.
“Anoush Mathevosian was a bright source of light and hope for many young people in need. Thanks to her effort and support many students like me, who wished to continue their educations but who didn’t have the financial means, have been able to do so. We are now doing our best to give back to our country and contribute to Armenia’s development,” said Hamlet Khnkoyan, a scholarship recipient and founder of Big Projects, an event-planning company.
Born in 1926 in the New Julfa Armenian quarter in Isfahan, Iran, Anoush came to the U.S. after being selected as one of the winners of a competition to study in the United States. She became a registered nurse after studying a New York Medical School, then continued her studies at Columbia University Teachers College, earning a degree in Public Health Administration. She spent 16 years as an administrator at the City Hospital of Elmhurst in New York and eventually began investing in real estate with her sister, Siranush. Their success led to the start of their efforts in philanthropy.
When the earthquake struck Gyumri and Spitak, Anoush and her sister Siranush donated to relief efforts, starting what would become long-term support for relief and development in their ethnic homeland of Armenia.
In 1997, Anoush funded the construction of Siranush Summer Camp in Vayots Dzor, named after her then-deceased sister, which gave orphans and the children of single parents the carefree childhood experience of spending several weeks in nature, learning how to be independent, more confident, and how to make new friends.
She went on to fund renovations of the library and the Charents Auditorium, part of the Department of Philology, at Yerevan State University. She also funded the construction of a school in Vanadzor.
Her most extensive contribution was the Mathevosian Scholarship Program, which continues to provide scholarship opportunities to students from disadvantaged families. Thanks to a Mathevosian Scholarship, 500 students have already received their higher education, able to pursue their professional goals as doctors, diplomats, teachers, engineers, and IT professionals.
Former Mathevosian Scholarship recipient Gari Akhoyan opened his own auditing company after he received a scholarship to study accounting and finance at the Armenian State University of Economics in 2001.
“I met with Anoush Mathevosian twice, in 2002 and in 2004. She was such a humble person,” Gari said. “She was so excited about the meeting and the fact that she was helping many students. If not for her support, I would have most likely had to forgo a university education. I try to encourage my employees to take risks, get out of their comfort zone, and do their best. I try to give them a chance to advance in their careers and expand their knowledge and skills by paying relevantly high salaries. This is something I took from Anoush Mathevosian.”
“Anoush Mathevosian has always been in my heart, and she has taught me the culture of generosity. I’ve always felt honored to be chosen as a recipient and will always be grateful to her and FAR for believing in me and my abilities for success,” said Kristine Namalyan, 38, now a leading credit analyst for Converse Bank of Armenia.
Anush’s approach to transforming Armenia through philanthropy and development was also acknowledged in 2010 by the Armenian government and His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, with the St. Gregory the Illuminator Medal, the highest award of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
"Anoush's legacy will live with the Fund for Armenian Relief forever, in thousands of young lives that are to be changed thanks to her visionary generosity. New generations of Armenian leaders are being educated year after year because of Anoush's perpetual gift to FAR and Armenia. She will be dearly missed," said FAR Deputy Director Arto Vorperian.
The funeral for Anoush Mathevosian will take place Monday, July 11th at 10 am at Holy Martyrs Armenian Church in Bayside, NY. A graveside service will follow it at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Flushing.