Manoogian Foundation funds Armenian Studies Program

April 16, 1997

ANN ARBOR—The Alex and Marie Manoogian Foundation has added another $500,000 to the nearly $2 million donation it has made to the University of Michigan’s Armenian Studies Program.

Though the late Alex Manoogian donated millions of dollars to religious, educational, charitable and cultural institutions and hospitals, in scores of countries around the world, he and his family foundation’s generosity to U-M enabled the Armenian Studies Program to be the first to have two endowed chairs in Armenian studies.

The foundation, based in the Detroit suburb of Taylor, established the Alex Manoogian Chair of Modern Armenian History in 1980, and the Marie Manoogian Chair of Armenian Language and Literature in 1987. The second chair was named for Manoogian’s wife.

“The Manoogian Family and Foundation have been very generous in their support of the U-M’s Armenian Studies Program,” said Edie Goldenberg, dean of U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. “This new gift will help support the Alex Manoogian Professorship in Armenian History and the Marie Manoogian Professorship in Armenian Language and Literature. We are very grateful to the Foundation.”

U-M’s Armenian Studies Program, under the direction of Kevork B. Bardakjian, continues to draw acclaim with its programs, courses, activities and its prestigious Armenian Language Summer Institute, which this year will offer first-year Eastern and Western Armenian Classes in Yerevan. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the U-M program study the culture, literature, history, and other aspects of Armenian tradition. The U-M also has a program of exchange involving scholars and students.

“This gift is yet another genuine manifestation of the Manoogians’ love for and dedication to Armenian culture,” said Bardakjian. “This will certainly provide a renewed impetus to teaching and conducting research into Armenian studies, and we express our profound gratitude to the Manoogians.”

Alex Manoogian was born in Turkey, immigrated to the United States as a teen-ager in 1920, founded a small but successful machine shop in Detroit which he called the Masco Screw Products Company, and eventually made a fortune through the development and marketing of a single-handled faucet. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, a special award to outstanding Americans and was awarded Armenia’s National Hero Medal and declared an Armenian citizen, the first individual outside that country to be so honored.

late Alex Manoogian