By Megan Starley, contributor
From left: David Huntsman, Jon M. Huntsman and Dean Douglas D. Anderson (Photo by Casey McFarland)
The Armenian Student Association is different from other student associations, and it’s not just because its members are Armenian, according to Gagik Melikyan, ASA president.
In a presentation before the Annual Awards Banquet, Mr. Melikyan explained that the new association wasn’t created to throw parties or festivals. They’ll leave that to the other clubs, he said.
“We don’t want to waste our time and energy organizing parties,” Mr. Melikyan said. “We want to use this great gift that is given to us for giving other people opportunities too. We believe that if we can help, then we must help. We believe that if we are blessed, then we must share our blessing. This is what we have learned from the great example of the life of Mr. Huntsman.”
The 13 Armenian students who created the ASA are here on scholarships funded by Jon M. Huntsman. In their gratitude, they named Mr. Huntsman an honorary member of the student association.
Mr. Huntsman said he felt humbled by the recognition.
Gagik Melikyan (Photo by Casey McFarland)
“I love the Armenian people with all of my heart. Our whole family does,” said Mr. Huntsman. “We’ve been there 46 times now. It is truly our country and a great country. We’re very, very honored to be part of the Armenian Student Association.”
Since its creation in fall of 2009, the ASA has already kicked off service projects like building a playground at the Whittier Community Center and cleaning the garden at the Bear River Activity and Skill Center (BRASC), a housing center for people with disabilities. Another project includes collecting bicycles for children in Gyumri, a major city in Armenia that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1988. Yet another is an effort to help Armenian orphans have a New Year celebration. The biggest project involves students volunteering to work at least 10 hours for USU and then donating the earned money to the All Armenian Fund.