Note: This is part of the book Connections: Faculty Voices, 1993 and is copyrighted 1993 by the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Downloading of this article is prohibited.

OUTREACH TO THE COMMUNITY

THE ARMENIAN RESEARCH CENTER

by Dennis R. Papazian, Ph.D.

THE ROLE OF THE UNIVERSITY IN THE COMMUNITY

The University of Michigan-Dearborn, as most universities, reaches out in concentric circles to the service of the surrounding community. In our case the circles can be defined as the metropolitan Detroit area, the United States, and, finally, the world community.

Our foremost concern is to educate good citizens and leaders whose impact can range among the concentric circles, from the local, to the national, and to the international. We do this in the first instance through educating our students in the liberal arts: the science of civilized and rational living, knowledge and appreciation of the arts, the obligations and privileges of citizenship, and the flexibility to earn a living and live a good life in a constantly changing world.

As a university, we also educate our students in the practical matters of science, engineering and business management. These fields provide a more specific foundation in those areas where our students can contribute to business and industry, which, after all, are the foundations of the wealth of our society and which support our culture and the things of the mind and spirit. These educational functions, of both types, are our first and paramount service.

When I was invited to contribute an essay on the interaction of our campus with the surrounding community to this collection in honor of the inauguration of Chancellor James C. Renick, I had two concerns. The first concern was the unease that by concentrating on local contributions off the campus we might indeed give the wrong impression that the broad education of our students was not in itself a most valuable contribution to our constituency. Our students and graduates, trained mostly on campus, have over the years made important contributions to society and these contributions should not be overlooked. We have educated our students, and our students have served society. That is the design of our work and that is its outcome. If I may for a moment quote St. Paul, "You are my letters of recommendation, written not on stone but in human hearts." Thus, I see our graduates, not just our programs, as our letters of recommendation to the region, the nation, and the world. And I believe them to be good letters of recommendations, indeed.

My second concern was that by writing about that which I know the best, that in which I am personally involved, this essay may seem to be self-serving. I was assured by the originators and the editors of this book, that if I fulfill my assignment in a straightforward and conscientious way, I would be forgiven any appearance of egocentrism. After all, service is delivered through people; and, ultimately, it is people who contribute to the teaching function of the university and it is people who are the products of that function.

Yet the university also serves by being directly involved in the surrounding community. This kind of involvement not only carries our educational mission to the larger community, but also provides a way for our students to be involved in real life which they must relate to their studies, and consequently helps them to adjust their theoretical learning to concrete situations. While theoretical abstractions are useful, these abstractions must ultimately be tested in the arena of life if they are to give benefit and do no harm. History, unfortunately, is filled with pernicious doctrines which were constructed by intellectuals and applied without prior testing in reality.

One of the programs which join the campus with the community in a common enterprise of education is the Armenian Research Center.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ARMENIAN RESEARCH CENTER AT UM-D

Why Study Armenia and the Armenians?

American society and the University have rightly become dedicated to multi-culturalism, multi-nationalism, and internationalism. The study of Armenia and the Armenians is one way of satisfying this vital contemporary interest. It gives us an opportunity to explore world history and culture using Armenia as a focal point, just as the British Empire--which once covered the globe--was used in the 1950s as a vehicle for the study of Modern World history or the Roman Empire for the study of ancient history.

Studying history from the point of view of the European Powers of the 19th century, with their Eurocentric and ethnocentric biases, gave students a great power overview of the world. The study of the same history through the eyes of the Armenians allows us to witness these same important events from the perspective of small nations, who are, after all, the vast majority of the states of the world. Armenians, over their 3,500 year history, were either central or peripheral players in major economic, political, and cultural events in a part of the globe which was once described by Napoleon as "the center of the world," and the Armenian diaspora (dispersion) straddles the whole globe from the Americas to the Far East.

It is also impossible to study the 3,500 year history of the Armenians, Armenia, and the Armenian diaspora without a knowledge of world history, inasmuch as over these many centuries the Armenians have related to almost every Middle Eastern, European, and Far Eastern culture which existed, beginning with ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Persia, the Arab world, India, the Far East, and extending to the Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and to all parts of Europe. Thus the study of Armenian history becomes a way of integrating and enlarging our knowledge of world history.

For only one example, it can be noted that a student cannot properly understand the Crusades without a study of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia which aided the Crusaders and whose noble families intermarried with the Crusader aristocracy. The last king of Cilician Armenia, for instance, is buried with his relatives, the kings of France, in St. Denis Cathedral in Paris.

In modern times, the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 witnessed the reemergence of Armenia and fourteen other states, some old and some new, in the territory of the former USSR. The current challenge facing the American people is to learn to deal with these "republics," with all their complexities and problems, in the interest of free enterprise, democracy, and world peace.

The United States government, for example, has designated Russia, Ukraine and Armenia as three of these republics which deserve the most immediate American interest and support. To this end, numerous programs have been established and expanded by the federal government and by numerous public and private institutions all over America. The Armenian Research Center is proud to be involved in these developments.

Even though Armenia was the smallest of the former Soviet republics, with a population of only 3.7 million, it has an energetic and creative population which enjoyed the highest educational standard and, perhaps, the highest standard of living of all the former Soviet republics. Armenians are especially noted for their contributions to education, science and the fine arts. Furthermore, as stated above, the Armenians are a diaspora people, spread to all the corners of the world, and they are involved in the arts, journalism, business, manufacturing, scholarship, and philanthropic activities in a host of countries. Their endeavors are worthy of being studied and understood as a vital part of world culture.

It is important to understand that the Armenian Research Center is not interested in the Armenians alone. It provides teaching, learning and research materials not only for Armenia and the Armenians but also for most of the geographic area once covered by the Soviet Union--Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Transcaucasia (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan), Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan)--as well as most of the Middle East, including Turkey, the Arab states, and Iran--a large and important part of the world little known in the West. The city of Dearborn, as is well known, now has the largest Middle Eastern population of any city in America, and this community is likely to continue to grow in the future. Thus, the Armenian Research Center provides a relevant and invaluable resource for teaching, learning, and public service beyond the confines of Armenia and the Armenians.

Community Interest

The Detroit metropolitan area is fortunate to have one of the largest and most active Armenian communities in the United States. This local community, along with the national Armenian community, has a strong and supportive interest in The University of Michigan- Dearborn and its mission. This fortunate confluence of university resources and public interest presented a unique opportunity for the expansion of internal collaboration and external partnerships in research, teaching, and service. It provides this community with a valuable learning resource, provides educational materials, and helps to serve its cultural needs. It is this community which has provided the Center, and thereby the campus, with a valuable resource as a gift. The Armenian Research Center also relates the campus to the extensive and significant international Armenian community as well to the local Armenian community. Accordingly, the Center certainly adds a multicultural and international perspective to the educational process, which will help Americans in general to better understand the world and define their proper role in it.

A Unique Resource

The Armenian Research Center at The University of Michigan-Dearborn is the only Armenian Research Center attached to an American university, and thus it has traditionally exhibited a leadership role in the field.

There are now chairs (endowed professorships) of Armenian studies at several major American universities, specifically: Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, Fresno State University, and two at The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, two at The University of California at Los Angeles, and one currently being established at The University of California, Berkeley. There are Armenian studies programs at all of these universities plus courses taught at Wayne State University, Rutgers University, the University of Chicago, the University of Massachusetts, Glassboro State College, and other institutions of higher learning.

There are, however, only three Armenian research centers in America, all of which were established after the Armenian Research Center at The University of Michigan-Dearborn. These institutions are the Zorab Center at the Armenian Church Diocese in New York, the Zoryan Institute of the Armenian National Committee in Cambridge, MA, and the Armenian Assembly institute in Washington, D.C. The UM-D Center, as was said, is clearly the only one affiliated with an American university.

There are, of course, many such centers in Armenia and throughout the diaspora. The oldest diaspora center still in existence is at the Mekhitarist Monastery in Venice, where Lord Byron learned Armenian. Others centers are located at the University of Paris, at the Mekhitarist Monastery in Vienna, and at several European universities.

Private Funding

The continued existence of the Center has been guaranteed by a one-million-dollar endowment provided by the Armenian community to the University. In 1985, the Center was established by a gift of $25,000 from the local Armenian community. A year later, The Knights of Vartan, an international Armenian fraternal society, gave the University $75,000 to begin an endowment to ensure the existence of the Center in perpetuity. In 1987, Helen and Edward Mardigian, two internationally known philanthropists, donated $500,000 to the Armenian Research Center endowment and $350,000 to an endowment for the campus library. Pleased with the work of the Armenian Research Center and with the generosity of the Mardigians towards the University, which has extended beyond their original contributions, the then Chancellor of the Dearborn campus, William A. Jenkins, recommended to the President of The University of Michigan, at that time Harold Shapiro, that the University name the campus library the Edward and Helen Mardigian Library. This the Regents did the following year.

From 1988 to 1992, the Center raised $300,000 through a number of fundraising campaigns within the Armenian community which brought the endowment up to nearly $900,000. In 1993, Mr. Suren Fesjian, a noted New York philanthropist, donated $40,000 and pledged a total of $100,000 to bring the Armenian Research Center's endowment to one million dollars. Thus the Armenian Research Center is a unique gift from the Armenian people to The University of Michigan-Dearborn.

FUNCTION AND PROGRAMS OF THE ARMENIAN RESEARCH CENTER

General Contributions

The Center contributes to the development of the cultural breadth of our students by enabling them to deal with more than one language, to adapt to new environments and cultures, to understand the past and the present, and to learn about the whole world and our place within it. The Center's resources enable students and faculty alike to work with primary materials to produce works which significantly contribute to the development and dissemination of knowledge.

The Armenian Research Center also serves specifically to provide a physical facility that optimizes learning and teaching, incorporates the use of advanced technologies in research and storage of materials, provides an educational internship program opportunity, supports the continued professional and personal development of faculty, provides a professional physical environment, promotes intellectual forums to discuss matters of intellectual and geopolitical import, serves the goals of diversity, helps to emphasize multicultural and international values, fosters collaborative approaches to teaching and research, brings individuals of common research interests together, promotes sustained research undertakings, and provides a mechanism for the dissemination of faculty expertise to the public and private sectors. For example, the Center's holdings, with over 17,000 databased books, journals, articles, and clippings, have been used by local newspaper editors and writers for research; and the Center has provided national institutions and media with information. Specific illustrations will be provided below.

Holdings

The Armenian Research Center has one of the best collections on Armenia and the Armenians in the Midwest, and has several rare books that would be hard to find even in specialized collections nationwide. These books include first editions of such valuable works as: John Macdonald Kinneir, Journey though Asia Minor, Armenia and Koordistan, in the Years 1813 and 1914; with remarks on the marches of Alexander and the retreat of the ten thousand (London: John Murray, 1818); Victor Langlois, The Armenian Monastry [sic.] of St. Lazarus-Venice (Venice: Typography of St. Lazarus, 1874), Rev. E. Smith and Rev. H.G.O. Dwight, Researches in Armenia, including a journey through Asia Minor, and into Georgia and Persia, with a visit to the Nestorian and Chaldean Christians (Boston/New York, 1833), and several others.

These rare books, as well as the core of our other book holdings, were the gift of John Vigen Der Manuelian who provided the Armenian Research Center with his personal library which he collected in America and abroad for the past 40 years. The collection has rightly been named after him.

The electronic database of the Armenian Research Center, along with its electronic connection to the Library of Congress and virtually every other major library in the world, is the very heart of its work. The ARC is not exceeded in its electronic connection by any other Armenian facility in the world. Furthermore, all the Center's holdings are referenced in the database to make retrieval of hard copy almost instantaneous.

The Armenian Research Center has, at present, 17,000 items in its database, which can be divided into: 2,363 important books located in the Center (in English, Armenian, Russian and other languages); 8,000 newspaper articles (clipped and in vertical files accessible through the database); and 2,200 items from the Armenian Assembly of America which, from 1980- 1990, clipped and translated articles on the Armenians, Kurds and Turks from newspapers worldwide. The Armenian Research Center's newspaper coverage includes the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, the Economist, the Financial Times (London), Newsweek magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and a variety of other papers and journals sent in by correspondents.

The Center has a complete set of microfilm of the official United States State Department papers regarding Armenia and the Armenians, and the Chadwick-Healy collection of all United States archives on the Armenians. It also has the multi-volume microfiche collection of Dr. V. Parsegian's massive work on Armenian architecture, as well as the Armenian Review journal and the Armenian Weekly newspaper. Furthermore, we have microfilm of the Detroit News, of the New York Times, and of State Department Reports of Consuls in the Middle East and of country- specific records of the State Department.

In addition, the Center subscribes to the major English-language Armenian-American newspapers -- The Armenian Reporter and its successor The Armenian Reporter International, Armenian Mirror-Spectator, Armenian Weekly, Armenian Life Weekly, California Courier, Nor Gyank, and the Armenian Observer -- which are kept on file, and to three important Armenian language newspapers as well as the English-language Turkish Times. It also has a collection of many academic journals and manuscripts as well.

The Center also catalogs materials that it does not own in its database so as to be a bibliographic reference center. In the near future, the Center will have the capacity to allow call-in via modem to use the database. Among other things, the Center has databased Armenian- issue materials of the Library of Congress, the British Museum, New York Public Library, and Richard Hovannisian's exhaustive bibliography of the Armenian genocide, as well as materials from other sources too many to recount in brief.

The Center's electronic collection, as intimated above, covers many areas of interest, including Russian history, Armenian history, Armenian literature, Armenian art and architecture, Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia, Turkey, the Kurds and more. The Center daily downloads and retains in hard and electronic copy the Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe daily reports on Russia; the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), the successor state of the USSR; and Eastern Europe. It also downloads and retains reports from various news services including the Armenian and Turkish press. It also subscribes to hard copy reports from the Armenian Assembly and the Armenian National Committee in Washington, D.C., the Zorab Center and the Armenian General Benevolent Union information service in New York, the Kurdish Institute in Paris, and a few others.

The Center is electronically tied into virtually every major library around the world. Thus items which the Center does not have in hard copy or on its electronic database can be search for world-wide. Recently, the Armenian Research Center dialed into the Library of Con- gress, Laval University, McGill University Library, and London University Library searching for specific items. Since, as said earlier, there is no Armenian research center anywhere which exceeds the UM-D Center in its electronic connections, the Armenian Research Center was recently visited by two representatives of the Armenian Parliament, Vicken Khachatourian and Bedros Katzakhian, who came to inspect the system and to learn how computers can be used to modernize the storage and retrieval of information and aid in the dissemination of knowledge.

The Center provides unique primary and secondary resources for the Center's students, the faculty and the public. The Center's vertical files, with over 8,000 databased items, has been used for research by local newspaper editor Joe Stroud, for information on the conservative religious revival in Russia; and newspaper writers such as Robert Ourlian, for information on the Armenian genocide and the Nagorno-Karabagh controversy between Armenia and Azerbaijan; and the religious writer for the Detroit Free Press, David Crum, for research on the ancient Eastern churches. Once the Center's database is put "online" it can be referenced by students and scholars from afar.

Reprint Series

The Armenian Research Center has cooperated with Michael Kane in New York to reprint nine classics of 19th century Armenian history, namely The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (Lord Bryce's famous Blue Book), Fr. Michael Chamich's History of Armenia: From B.C. 2247 to the Year of Christ 1780, or 1229 of the Armenian Era (Vols. I & II), the anthology Germany, Turkey and Armenia, Dr. Harry Stuermer's Two War Years in Constantinople, Clarence D. Ussher's An American Physician in Turkey (for which the Society of Van gave a subvention so it could be sent to 200 major universities), Aurora Mardiganian's Ravished Armenia, Dr. Fridjof Nansen's Armenia and the Near East, Fr. H.F. Tozer's Turkish Armenia and Eastern Asia Minor, and Frederick Davis Green's Armenian Massacres and Turkish Tyranny, or The Sword of Mohammed.

Visiting Scholars

The Armenian Research Center's collection has been used by many visiting scholars for their research, such as Dr. Joseph Kechichian, a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation in California, who consulted the Center's Middle East collection and participated in an Armenian Research Center-sponsored panel discussion on the war in Iraq; Dr. Thomas Sinclair of London, England, the author of a massive four-volume work on Armenian architecture in Anato- lia, who did several days of research on the Armenians of Zeitun; Dr. Melvar Melkumian, an academician from Moscow, USSR, who did research for a book on an ambivalent figure in the Armenian Revolutionary Federation; Mr. George Mouradian, a retired executive at Ford Motor Company, who spent several extended sessions of research at the Center for his forthcoming book on Armenian history; and Dr. Fouad Hafez, a legal specialist from Egypt, who spent several days in October 1991 researching the Armenian genocide.

Oral History Collection

The Center has several hundred oral history tapes of survivors of the Armenian genocide, and scores of transcriptions. These tapes were made under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities when the Director was on leave from the University and stationed in Washington, D.C.

Student and Faculty Projects

Faculty who have used the Center for research include the Director who has prepared several papers to be read at conferences and two articles for publication; Dr. Elise Parsigian, Adjunct Assistant Professor, who used the center's resources to write three papers which were delivered at international conferences in Dublin; Montreal; and Rio de Janeiro. Her papers, which have since been published, are: "Emergency Rx for Studies on the Ethnic Press: The Armenian English-Language Newspapers," "Identity Disequilibrium and the Mass Media: The Armenian-American Case," and a paper on the treatment of the Karabagh conflict in the American press.

The Armenian Research Center's art book collection, which is quite extensive in non- Western art, was used by a faculty member, Elizabeth Higashi, to make slides for a course which included a large segment on early Christian art. Such works were produced throughout the Near and Middle East and Africa (as far south as Ethiopia), up until the Arab invasions of the 7th century.

Many students have used the Center's collection for research papers and investigations for class projects.

Help by Phone and Correspondence

The Center also provides information by phone and by mail, a sampling of which follows: Extensive information was provided to Glen M. Martin, MA student at Albright College, in reply to his inquiries on Armenian foreign policy for a research paper he was writing; NHK-TV Japan Public Television has consulted with the Armenian Research Center on filming a program on Armenians, both in Armenia and in the Diaspora; materials were provided to a Catholic TV station in Louisiana that intends to produce a program on the Armenian genocide; materials were sent to the California High School Library (a private school) that wished to create a section on Armenia.

The Center was also requested to provide a bibliography of 300 books on the Armenian Genocide to be purchased by the Holocaust Council to be used in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

Policy Studies and Accurate Information

The Center frequently provides the President, the State Department, members of Congress, government agencies, and newspapers with correct information on Armenia, the Armenians, and issues of interest to the Armenians.

Speakers

The Center, at times with the cooperation of other University units and/or the community, has sponsored speakers such as Dr. Joseph Kechichian, RAND Corp., who lectured in class and took part in a panel discussion on the Middle East; Mr. Kirakos Padarian, former aide to former Soviet Vice President Gennadi Yanayev, who spoke on the Soviet Union, Russia and the Middle East; and Rabbi Kenneth Segal, who lectured on campus and in the community on the process of denial of the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide.

TV Films

The Center has produced a TV fundraising film, which was shown in Armenian communities all over the United States; a videofilm of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict in cooperation with Eva Medzorian; and a videofilm of Martyrs' Day commemoration in Times Square. Over 200 copies of the Karabagh tape have been distributed, and it has been shown on many cable stations all over the United States. The Armenian Research Center also sponsored the Midwest showing of J. Michael Hagopian's film, Survivors.

Language Instruction

For over ten years UM-D's Armenian Studies Program sponsored the teaching of the Armenian language on campus through a grant from the Alex and Marie Manoogian Foundation.

UM-D Library Enrichment

Through the generosity of the Alex and Marie Manoogian Foundation, the Armenian Studies Program provided a grant of several thousand dollars to the library for the purchase of books on the Middle East.

Staffing

The Center is led by a director, Dr. Dennis R. Papazian, Professor of History, who has over thirty years of experience in teaching, research and public service. The assistant director is Dr. Elise Parsigian, an unpaid volunteer, who has a rich background in writing and communications. Mr. Gerald Ottenbreit, an expert on Armenian history, is the administrative assistant and chief researcher at the Center. The Center took a large step towards reaching international scope when it obtained the services of Larisa Agasyan, a life-long resident of Armenia. Mrs. Agasyan brought to the Center a wide spectrum of skills and knowledge as well as contacts in the Republic of Armenia. She is fluent in Armenian, Russian and English.

Student Interns and Researchers

The Center provides special opportunities for our students. Each semester, for example, the Research Center has up to two students who are either "interns" or involved in independent studies. One of the first, Richard Walker II, produced a booklet entitled What Every Armenian Should Know, which was printed and widely distributed. A series of students have been working on a long-range project which involves the collection of all known classical texts dealing with the Armenians or Armenia, including all extant Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Syriac sources. One of these students was an Iraqi Chaldean Christian who worked on Syriac tomes, the creations of her ancestors. Around one hundred and fifty classical sources have been researched and collated thus far. In the near future, the Center will begin the publication of these resources in a multi-volume series.

Those students who have worked on this and other projects so far are: Victoria Altinok, Wade Davis, Jevano Cacoz, Josephine Dabish, Robert Tomassian, Bill Butler, Richard Walker II, Brenda Provci, Karen Goulasarian, and Marine Vartanyan.

Scholarships

Due to the generosity of Dr. & Mrs. George Elanjian, a $50,000 endowment fund has been established to provide two scholarships annually to students of Armenian heritage, one for an entering freshman and one for an upper-class student. The holders of these scholarships will dedicate five hours of work each week to the Armenian Research Center.

Careers

The Center encourages students to expand their career horizons. Students who have worked in the Center are now in American intelligence agencies, the State Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and are doing research in the former Soviet Union and in China. Others, of course, have gone into teaching, many of the professions, and private businesses.

Society for Armenian Studies

The Armenian Research Center has served for the past several years as the business office of the Society for Armenian Studies, an international professional association of those interested in Armenian studies. In this regard, the Center has distributed the Society's tri-annual Newsletter, its annual Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, and published its annual Roster. The Center also carries out international correspondence with associates and associate societies in Europe, the Middle East, India, and Armenia.

Academic Exchange

In the spring of 1992, the Director made a trip to Russia and Armenia to investigate the possibilities of student and faculty exchanges with Armenia. While the present situation in Armenia precludes an immediate exchange, the process of investigation continues and it is hoped that it will come to fruition in the not too distant future.

Humanitarian Relief

The Armenian Research Center was a depository for relief supplies during the aftermath of the Armenian earthquake in December of 1988, and it was also a depository for relief supplies during Operation Winter Rescue, sponsored by the United States Department of State, for relief efforts to besieged Armenia in the winter of 1992/93.

Business Opportunities

The Center is eager to aid American corporations to do business in Armenia. Due to a lack of resources, only minimal work has been done so far, but it continues to make contacts and to give preliminary advice. Bela Stepanian from the Bank of America, for example, has consulted the Armenian Research Center about business conditions in Armenia. The Center currently cooperates with East-West Financial Services LTD, Washington, D.C., regarding business opportunities in Armenia. It also has a volunteer consultant, Norayr Vartanyan, on call, who can discuss business opportunities with investors. Mr. Vartanyan has many high-level connections in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, and has practical business experience, having been the manager of a parquet manufacturing plant in that city.

Outreach of the Director

The Center was inspired by the Director's experience as an expert commentator on radio and television and his recognition that a Center for the study of the USSR and its constituent republics would be of value to the campus and an aid in providing a needed service to the community. There was a particular need, as became clear over time, for an institute which filled a niche in providing specialized knowledge for little understood regions of the USSR, specifically Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Since the Director was already trained in the study of the USSR, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Armenia, it was only a question of providing a particular focus around which to base the Center. Since the support of the community was vital, Armenia and the Armenians were chosen for that focus, although it was not the Center's exclusive interest.

Radio and Television

The Director's experience with the TV media began effectively in 1970, before the founding of the Armenian Research Center, when he was invited to participate in a discussion on Conversations in Depth at Channel 50 in Detroit on the situation in East Central Europe, the area which was then called the "satellite states" of the USSR. In 1973, Dr. Papazian was invited to appear on Channel 7 (ABC) in Detroit, and in 1977 on a talk show in Cleveland WTOP (CBS) regarding the Armenians. In 1981 and 1982, he appeared on a few more shows regarding the Middle East. Then in 1983, with the "shoot down" of Korean Airlines #007, he was called by several TV and radio stations over an extended period of time to comment on this issue and the general unsteady situation in the Soviet Union.

From that point on, Dr. Papazian became a regular commentator on Detroit area radio and TV and a frequent commentator on public radio, out-of-town TV, and radio stations as far away as Washington, D.C., and Vancouver, British Columbia. Since that time, he has shared his knowledge with the public on over 350 radio and TV programs. In particular, he was frequently interviewed by Bill Bonds on his much admired Up Front program. During the period from the death of Brezhnev to the fall of communism under Gorbachev, the Director enjoyed a bit of public notoriety through his many media appearances. These appearances, although less frequent than during the period of the fall of communism, continue to the present.

Since many people have expressed an interest in the number and spread of these appearances, they are listed below.

The Director, as of August 1993, has appeared on WXYZ (ABC) Channel 7, Detroit, 87 times; WKBD (FOX) Channel 50, Detroit, 25 times; WDIV Channel 4, Detroit, 6 times; WJBK Channel 2, Detroit, 3 times; Dearborn Cablevision, Dearborn, 2 times; WXON Channel 20, Detroit, 1 time; Group W Cable, Dearborn, 1 time; WKYC (CBS) Channel 3, Cleveland 1 time; WTOP (CBS) Channel 3, Cleveland, 1 time; and Group W Channel 6, Birmingham 1 time. There have been dozens of reruns of some of these programs on cable TV in the Detroit and other metropolitan areas all over the country.

Dr. Papazian has also been interviewed frequently on the radio. He has been interviewed on WWJ, Detroit, 121 times; WXYT, Detroit, 27 times; WSOU, Seton Hall, NJ, 15 times; WRC, Washington, D.C., 12 times; WJR, Detroit, 10 times; WNIC, Detroit, 6 times; WCAR, Detroit, 3 times; CBS, New York, 2 times; CKNW National Canadian Radio, Vancouver, B.C., 1 time; WCEN, Mt. Pleasant, MI, 1 time; WDET, Detroit, 1 time; WGPR, Detroit, 1 time; WCFX, Detroit, 1 time; WGN, Chicago, 1 time; CBC Windsor, 1 time; WPLP, Tampa, FL, 1 time; WPAG, Ann Arbor, 1 time; WNZK, Detroit, 1 time. These interviews, mostly live but sometimes taped, have lasted from a few minutes to up to two hours for a call-in talk show. The Washington, D.C. appearances on WRC, for example, have generally been one-hour talk shows. Many of the shorter interviews on the news stations have been rebroadcast hourly for up to three days.

Newspapers

As Armenia became involved in its independence movement in 1988, the first of the Soviet Republics to do so, it attracted quite a bit of media attention. By this time the Armenian Research Center had been established for three years. Since the public knew so little about Armenia and there were so many unanswered questions in the public mind, the Director decided to write an OpEd piece for the Detroit News. This contribution was accepted; and, following that, the Director was asked by the editor of the Detroit News and other newspapers over the years to write a series of OpEd pieces regarding the situation in the Soviet Union. Most of these essays for the Detroit News were couched in the form of book reviews published on the editorial page, while others were printed as editorials and OpEd columns.

Public Lectures

Dr. Papazian has delivered literally hundreds of public lectures from the time of his first employment at UM-D in 1962. They have been delivered to business groups such as the Young Presidents Organization (at their three-day conference in Key Largo, FL), the Rotary Clubs, the Kiwanis Clubs; to church groups in the metropolitan area and beyond, including two stints with the Friends of the Cardinal; academic groups such as the University of Michigan Alumni Society (locally, in Lansing, in Los Angeles, and on tour through several cities on the east coast), and at other schools, colleges and universities in the metropolitan area and beyond; organized public lectures locally and from the east to the west coast; and, of course, to academic societies. He has also spoken at Armenian Martyrs' Day commemorations all over the nation, including several times in Times Square, in New York City.

Advising Government Agencies, the State Department, and the White House.

While on leave from the University in the 1970s to head a public interest group in Washington, D.C, Dr. Papazian testified before Congress on the Armenian genocide, was called upon to advise the then Office of Education as a member of a "Secretary's Advisory Board," managed a one-million-dollar grant from the Agency for International Development of the State Department to do relief work in war-torn Lebanon, and received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to do an oral history study of Armenian survivors of the genocide. On his return to the campus, he continued to be a consultant for the Office of Education.

Over the past few years, Prof. Papazian has been called to Washington to consult with assistants to the President, leading members of the National Security Council, including General Brent Scowcroft, the United States Department of State, the Pentagon, the CIA, and most recently at several policy study sessions at the important Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) regarding Armenia and the Transcaucasis. In the latter capacity, Dr. Papazian has had occasion to deal with all factions involved directly or indirectly with the current fighting in Nagorno-Karabagh, an Armenian enclave surrounded by an antagonistic Azerbaijan.

PERORATION

These enriching experiences described above, have not only been of service to the community but they have also been a learning experience for the Director, enabling him to incorporate the knowledge and insights gained in Washington, in his preparation for radio, TV, newspapers commentaries and public lecture appearances into his class room teaching and administrative responsibilities. His public service to the campus and to the metropolitan area, accordingly, has become even more valuable.

Many of the faculty members at UM-D, of course, have had similar and even more significant experiences and have performed equally important services. In 1983, Bill Bonds said publicly on TV that The University of Michigan-Dearborn was "the best kept secret in the state of Michigan." That, fortunately, is no longer the case. After over twenty-five years, due to the quality of its students, the leadership of its chancellors, the yeoman service of its faculty, and the excellent support of its staff, the University of Michigan-Dearborn has become well-known and continues its educational, research, and service mission with renewed vigor. There is no doubt that under the leadership of Chancellor James C. Renick the University of Michigan- Dearborn will move forward and realize the vision of its founders to become a significant influence on education and life in our local and extended community.

July 29, 1993