CSUN Gets $2.1 Million Anonymous Gift to Support Armenian Studies

NORTHRIDGE (CNS) - Cal State Northridge announced today an anonymous $2.1 million gift to support its Armenian Studies Program and related special collection holdings.

``CSUN educates more Armenian students than any other university in the world outside of Yerevan, Armenia,'' said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison. ``This gift will strengthen an already strong program that provides a foundation of knowledge about Armenian culture and the impact Armenians and Armenian Americans have, not just in California, but throughout the world.''

According to CSUN, the funds will be used to establish an endowed directorship in Armenian Studies in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures in the College of Humanities, and to support the efforts of the special collections and archives unit of the Oviatt Library.

Among the holdings of the library's special collections are archives of Armenian families that date back to the pre-World War I Ottoman period, including letters, books, artifacts, clothes and jewelry. A number of the archival materials chronicle the Armenian genocide and the Armenian immigrant experience in the Los Angeles area.

Once the archives are processed and ready for viewing, they will be available to the public, according to the university.

CSUN's Armenian Studies Program, established in 1983, promotes the study of the language and culture of Armenia and Armenians, and helps prepare the next generation of scholars in the field. The program offers students support, workshops, public lectures and outreach programs.

CSUN's Vice President for Advancement Robert Gunsalus said the anonymous gift is a ``generous confirmation of the important role CSUN plays in the community at large and in the Armenian community specifically.''

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