CEU Mourns Former Trustee Vartan Gregorian, Champion of Education and Peace

CEU remembers Vartan Gregorian, former trustee, friend and supporter of our University. A distinguished scholar, extraordinary leader, and beloved mentor to many, Gregorian championed peace, democracy, and education throughout his career. He died April 15, 2021 at the age of 87.

As a CEU trustee from 2001-09, Dr. Gregorian played a key role in the University’s formative years, advising on its strategy and growth. He was instrumental in establishing the CEU Center for Religious Studies, which today is generating important insight into the fragmentation and devolution of religion and state in the Arab world through Striking from the Margins, an international research and engagement program supported by the Carnegie Corporation. Dr. Gregorian has been a steadfast source of counsel for CEU leaders though the years—drawing upon his distinguished career in academic and public leadership, fromBrown University, where he doubled the endowment as President, to the venerable New York Public Library, an institution he is credited with reviving.

“Vartan Gregorian was a guiding light for me and so many others. He exemplified a life of service to education, peace, and democracy,” said President and Rector Michael Ignatieff. “When I took up the Rectorship at CEU, he took me under his proverbial, convivial wing, offering his wit and wisdom as we navigated the challenges of recent years. Vartan had a gift for cutting through complexity to find solutions, never hesitating to share the unvarnished opinions he was known and loved for.”

The CEU community expresses our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Gregorian’s family and his colleagues at the Carnegie Corporation of New York. His unwavering dedication to education in all its forms—from civic outreach to elementary education to the highest forms of academic inquiry—remains a great source of inspiration worldwide and across philanthropic, nonprofit, private and public sectors. “He was a champion of education because he valued its potential for promoting international understanding.” Rector Ignatieff reflected. “He will be deeply missed, yet the fruits of his labors will be with us for generations to come.”

To read more about Vartan Gregorian’s achievements, please view this tribute on the Carnegie Corporation of New York website.