UCI News

UCI chemistry professor, wife fund $100,000 endowment for Armenian studies research

August 23, 2018
UCI chemistry professor, wife fund $100,000 endowment for Armenian studies research
Ara Apkarian, UCI Distinguished Professor of chemistry, and his wife, Alice, recently bestowed a second $100,000 gift on the School of Humanities. The Naneh Award for Graduate Research in Armenian Studies is named in honor of their daughter.

Ara Apkarian, UCI Distinguished Professor of chemistry, and his wife, Alice, a retired Saddleback College chemistry professor, recently funded a $100,000 endowment, the Naneh Award for Graduate Research in Armenian Studies. Named in honor of their daughter, a postdoctoral researcher at Western Michigan University, this is the second significant gift the couple has bestowed on the School of Humanities. The first, also for $100,000, helped establish the Meghrouni Family Presidential Chair in Armenian Studies. Southern California has the largest Armenian diaspora in the U.S., and the Apkarians want to ensure that Western Armenian culture and language thrive. “Graduate students in the sciences invariably receive full financial support throughout their careers, which allows them to focus on their studies,” Ara Apkarian says. “But graduate support in Armenian studies? That’s a much tougher sell. We have to do it.”