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15th Annual Banquet-Evening at the Lake

By Barlow Der Mugrdechian
Hye Sharzhoom Advisor

The Armenian Studies Program of California State University, Fresno held its 15th Anniversary Banquet on Sunday, May 6, 2001. The festive event, “An Evening on the Lake with William Saroyan,” attracted more than 175 community friends and students who enjoyed a delicious meal and an excellent program at the spacious home of Dr. Jane Kardashian and Vatche Soghomonian, overlooking Millerton Lake.

Fresno photographer Paul Kalinian’s film, “William Saroyan,” a documentary on the life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, was shown. The film is winner of six international film festival awards, including a Gold award for best documentary.

California State Senator Chuck Poochigian ably handled the duties of Master of Ceremonies during the banquet, while Steve Samuelian expressed greetings on behalf of Congressman George Radanovich.

Barlow Der Mugrdechian of the Armenian Studies Program introduced the 2000-2001 student scholarship recipients, an outstanding group of students, who have been involved in the Armenian Students Organization, taking Armenian Studies courses, and working on the Hye Sharzhoom newspaper. This year six students will graduate having earned the Minor in Armenian Studies.

Cherie Chooljian sang and entertained guests on the piano. Ms. Chooljian has recorded Jazz and Latin CDs and has performed in the Boston area and, for the last ten years, in San Francisco.

Special thanks to Dr. Jane Kardashian and Vatche Soghomonian for undertaking the sponsorship of the expenses of the banquet and for hosting the banquet at their home.

Catering was provided by Yerevan Restaurant (formerly Burger Time restaurant), managed by Sam and Armen Zograbian.