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Varoujan and V. Rose Karentz Scholarship Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
“Both Rose’s parents and my parents arrived in America as survivors of a genocide perpetrated by the OttomanTurks. They came with the feeling that it was important their children as Americans always remember their culture and heritage. That was instilled in us throughout our young lives,” explains Varoujan Karentz.

“We want to perpetuate that conviction,” states Varoujan of this fund, designated for the Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA, Providence Ani chapter, to enable Rhode Island students of Armenian descent to study their Armenian history, culture, and heritage.

Varoujan was raised in the Edgewood neighborhood of Cranston and attended Cranston High School for three years before enlisting in the Coast Guard during WW II. He served on convoy duty and later was re-called by the Navy and served an additional three years during the Korean conflict. Although he never completed high school, Varoujan was later recruited by Raytheon Company. He rose through the ranks during his 34 years of service, retiring as director and vice president of foreign operations.

Rose, a native of Granite City, IL, worked as a secretary and taught adult education at high schools in Massachusetts. The couple has three children: a daughter who is a professor at the University of San Francisco and senior scientist with the National Science Foundation; a second daughter who is vice president and provost of Portland (OR) State University; and a son who is a marine expert with a Fort Lauderdale-based marine forensics company.

Varoujan notes that both his parents (Soghomon and Vergin Karentz) and Rose’s parents (Arsen and Parantzem Harioan) dedicated themselves to Armenian organizations, and that Varoujan’s mother served on the national committee of the Armenian Relief Society. “She dedicated her life to serving various Armenian organizations,” Varoujan shares.

Through this fund, Varoujan and Rose are continuing in perpetuity their parents’ commitment to their heritage and history. “Don’t ever forget your ethnic background,” Varoujan instructs.

Noting he has followed the Foundation for many years, he concludes, “It is a great organization with a stellar reputation. Your organization was just a natural for us.”
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