The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative joined the memorial service organized by the family of the late Vartan Gregorian and the Carnegie Corporation of New York on April 13, 2022 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Dr. Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation in New York, Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, and Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member, died in April 2021.
During the memorial, members of the Gregorian family, lifelong friends, and distinguished colleagues shared memories and teachings and paid tribute to Dr. Gregorian’s exceptional achievements in philanthropy, libraries, educational institutions, and arts and cultural organizations. Videos and photos of Dr. Gregorian at every stage of his life were interspersed with personal memories shared in heartfelt video messages.
“For the many years I knew Vartan, I always felt he was looking over my shoulder. Looking out for me, challenging me, guiding me. And I feel his spirit here today, watching over all of us. Vartan was a guiding light. Shining for those who knew him and for those he did not,” said Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, Founder & CEO of Flagship Pioneering, and Co-Founder & Chair of Moderna.
Born in Tabriz, Iran, Vartan Gregorian overcame countless challenges he faced as a young immigrant to the United States and went on to build a remarkable career that spanned several decades and crossed the lines of academia, philanthropy, and culture within and beyond his adopted country. He has made a crucial contribution to countless projects and foundations and was one of the Co-Founders of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative that seeks to address on-the-ground humanitarian challenges around the world with a focus on helping the most destitute.
Uniquely dedicated to discovering and supporting the world’s unsung humanitarian heroes to enable and raise awareness of their courageous work, Aurora has made a significant impact on the lives of those in greatest need. Representatives of Aurora’s community, including Co-Founders of the Initiative, several members and Chair of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, and Aurora Laureates, attended the memorial service.
You can watch Noubar Afeyan’s speech at the Vartan Gregorian memorial event below.