Dr. Gregorian will receive the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Adelphi University’s 119th Commencement.
Vartan Gregorian is the 12th president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Prior to his current position, which he assumed in June 1997, Dr. Gregorian served for nine years as the 16th president of Brown University.
He was born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents, receiving his elementary education in Iran and his secondary education in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1956, he entered Stanford University, where he majored in history and the humanities, graduating with honors in 1958. He was awarded a Ph.D. in History and Humanities from Stanford in 1964.
Dr. Gregorian has taught European and Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State College, the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Texas at Austin. In 1972, he joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty and was appointed Tarzian Professor of History and professor of South Asian history. He was founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and four years later became its 23rd provost, holding that position until 1981.
For eight years (1981–1989), Dr. Gregorian served as president of the New York Public Library. In 1989, he was appointed president of Brown University.
Dr. Gregorian is the author of several books, including The Road to Home: My Life and Times, Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan: Politics of Reform and Modernization, 1880-1946. A Phi Beta Kappa and Ford Foundation Foreign Area Training Fellow, he is a recipient of numerous fellowships, including those from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council and the American Philosophical Society. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. In 1969, he received the Danforth Foundation’s E.H. Harbison Distinguished Teaching Award.
He serves on several boards, including those of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and the American Academy in Berlin. He has served on the boards of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Aga Khan University, the Qatar Foundation, the McGraw-Hill Companies, Brandeis University, Human Rights Watch, The Museum of Modern Art and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His numerous civic and academic honors include scores of honorary degrees, including those from Brown, Dartmouth, Drew, Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the City University of New York, Rutgers, Tufts, New York University, the University of Aberdeen, The Juilliard School, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Fordham University, San Francisco State University, the University of Notre Dame, Carnegie Mellon University and, most recently, Keio University, the University of Miami and the University of St Andrews.
In 1986, Dr. Gregorian was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and, in 1989, the American Academy and the Institute of Arts and Letters’ Gold Medal for Service to the Arts. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded him the National Humanities Medal. In 2004, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to the White House Fellowships Commission.
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