Mayor of Yerevan Stops by Campus During Local Tour

Susan Aksu

Cruising in a fleet of golf carts and accompanied by members of the board of trustees, delegates from the city of Yerevan in Armenia and members of the Armenian Consulate, toured the campus on Feb. 21 as a way to familiarize themselves with the college.

Visiting the GCC campus was one of the stops the delegates had planned to make before signing an agreement with Los Angeles which would make Yerevan its sister city. The agreement will help Yerevan and Los Angeles work together and build strong ties with one another, according to Assistant Consul General Hakop Hovanesyan.

The delegates included the Mayor of Yerevan, Yervand Zakharyan; the Chief Architect of Yerevan, Samvel Danielyan; the Head of Health and Social Security Department, Armen Soghoyan; the Deputy Head of International Relations Department, Lusine Mikayelyan; and the First Assistant to the Mayor, Vardan Amaryan.

The group toured GCC’s facilities with the guidance of President/Superintendent Audre Levy, who was also accompanied by Armen Liloyan, the Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles; Harutyun Kojoyan, the Deputy Consul General; and Hovanesyan.
This trip to Los Angeles was the first ever for any mayor of Yerevan. Zakharyan said that coming to Los Angeles and having Yerevan become a sister city of Los Angeles, gives them a better chance to be acquainted with the area, including Glendale. Glendale currently has a partnership with its Armenian sister city, Ghapan, which is approximately five hours away from the capital, according to Hacopian.

A self-proclaimed “Glendalian,” Hovanesyan said, “the delegation must come to the community college to be introduced to education,” which was one of the reasons they came to visit the college.
“I was quite impressed. It seems to me that it [GCC] has all the facilities it needs in order to give students a great education,” said Zakharyan. “In the scientific field what’s demanded from people is quite large so it’s an important level to obtain and it seems like the facilities here can get students to that level.”

He said he would be interested in sending a team to Glendale to study and learn the system at GCC and exchange ideas. He also said that he would be more than happy to host students and faculty from Glendale to spend time in Yerevan. As it happens, Armenia is the destination the summer of one of the college’s study abroad programs, under the direction of Levon Marashlian.
The campus tour included a stop in the planetarium, the construction site for the future Allied Health and Science building and other areas throughout the campus.

“It was quite an honor for them to visit our campus especially since they took time out of their busy schedules to make sure they got to see the college,” said Levy.
Light snacks consisting of sandwiches, pastries and cakes were provided for the special guests and faculty in the Student Center at the end of the tour. Following speeches given by Levy, Zakharyan, and ASGCC President David Arakelyan, Levy presented gifts for the delegates filled with GCC items for them to remember their tour of the campus.

Arakelyan said, “Yerevan could possibly adopt some of the things we do here to better the education system in Armenia.”
The delegates were excited over the fact that they got to fly over Los Angeles in a helicopter earlier that day. Zakharyan said that he found the helicopter ride to be pretty impressive, and he also announced an open invitation to GCC students and faculty to visit his country.

“I would be more than happy to host them during their time in Armenia,” said Zakharyan.