Have you ever paid attention to the statue near the entrance of AUA’s new building? a survey conducted to find out how much AUA students and staff know about it. Unsurprisingly, there were many interesting answers.
Whose statue is it?
Almost all the students have heard about the name of the statue. However, there are some misinterpretations of the name such as ‘Papazian’, ‘Paramazian’. A few freshmen haven’t even noticed the statue while running from class to class. Others honestly stated that they didn’t know whose statue it was. One of the freshmen said, “I study here and I didn’t read the poster on the wall, but my family once visited the university and my father noticed and read the whole text before leaving. I guess you can see the difference of the generations.”
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What is the name of the new building?
A brief moment after answering “Paramaz Avedisian Building”, I watched their faces light up, as they discovered the answer to the previous question. “Is it him? Is he Paramaz Avedisian?” Yes. It is the statue of Paramaz Avedisian. (And if you haven’t figured it out yet, the building is also in his name).
On the other hand, almost half of the participants were very well informed about the statue and even knew some details about the life of Paramaz Avedisian. One of the sophomores said, “If I am not mistaken, Paramaz was also interested in music.” AUA staff knew significantly more about the statue than the students.
The provost Dr. Randall Rhodes also talked about the statue: “I met Paramaz and I think the statue is not doing him justice. When I look at it, I get the impression of a young boy who is ready to go out and play. But he actually was a very wise and serious man.”
Who was Paramaz Avedisian?
The two most common opinions among students were that Paramaz was either one of AUA’s founders or one of its donors.
In reality, Paramaz is the older brother of Edward Avedisian, a private investor, who is a part of AUA’s Board of Trustees.
Nonetheless, some people knew about his activities in the field of education and answered that he was a philanthropist, who championed education in the Armenian community.
After my survey, two girls were discussing the position of the statue. One girl suggested bringing the statue forward, so that people could see it from up-close and so that people can touch it. “It would be so awesome if I could high-five him as I go to class,” a student said.
What is the position of the statue and what does it resemble?
From all the people I surveyed, only one student was attentive enough and correctly answered my question. Davit Yeghiazaryan, you deserve a shout out!
The statue of Paramaz is leaning forward and his arm is extended, as he greets everyone entering the building. The statue itself is of a young Paramaz, so that it can inspire the youth at AUA!
After explaining the posture to people, I witnessed how they all became so happy and pleasantly surprised when they learned about the meaning of the statue.
One thing I learned is that everyone is familiar with the statue. Some might not know his name, some might not remember his story, but we all see him every single day when entering AUA. That statue is a part of our new life at the American University of Armenia.
“Hrammetsek,” (Welcome) to the future, the American University of Armenia’s Paramaz Avedisian Building