Dennis R. Papazian, director of Armenian Research Center, named professor emeritus

May 25, 2006


DEARBORN/June 9, 2006---Dennis R. Papazian, who has taught history at the University of Michigan-Dearborn for more than 40 years, was named professor emeritus by the U-M Regents at their May meeting. He retired from active faculty status at the end of April.

In addition to teaching a wide range of courses on Russian, Soviet, Armenian and world history, Papazian was founder and director of the campusís Center for Armenian Research and Publication, a reference library containing books, articles and archival materials used by scholars around the world.

The Center also has published scholarly journals and other works in Armenian studies, and maintains a Web site featuring diverse materials concerning Armenians both in the United States and in other parts of the world.

In the classroom, Papazian was a flamboyant lecturer and popular teacher. By the time he retired, Papazianís courses attracted students whose parents, and grandparents, had been his students years before.

Papazian, a native of Detroit, earned bachelorís and masterís degrees from Wayne State University, and a masterís and doctoral degrees from the U-M Ann Arbor campus. He also spent a year studying Russian history at the Moscow State University in 1961-62, and completed fellowships at Harvard University and the Ohio State University.

 He joined the UM-Dearborn faculty as a lecturer in 1962, became assistant professor of history in 1966, was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1968 and to professor in 1971. He held more than dozen administrative appointments, including terms as director of graduate studies and chair of the Department of Social Studies. He also was the chair of the College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts during the late 1960s and early 1970s when the campus grew from a two-year program, serving junior and senior students, to a four-year comprehensive university, which kicked off a period of major enrollment growth for UM-Dearborn.

 Papazianís research led to numerous scholarly articles on Russian history, Armenian immigration and the Armenian genocide. In addition, he has been very well known throughout the metropolitan area for his political commentaries in the Detroit newspapers and on television and radio.

 Through his connections among Armenians in the United States, especially through their churches and fraternal associations, Papazian has solicited major contributions to endow the Armenian Research Center and ensure its preservation after his retirement.

 During the 1970s, Papazian served as chairman of the board and director of the Armenian Assembly of America, and he was chairman of the board of the Alex Manoogian Cultural Foundation from 1969 to 1977. He also served for more than 20 years on the board of the Michigan Ethnic Heritage Studies Center and the executive council of the Society for Armenian Studies. Earlier this year, Papazian was appointed to the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education.

 In 1991, when Papazian was recognized for his contributions with the UM-Dearborn Distinguished Service Award, the nomination packet included supporting letters from community leaders, media representatives and elected officials, including three members of Congress.

 ďI heartily recommend Dennis Papazian for the Distinguished Service Award,Ē then-Senator Donald Riegle Jr. wrote. ďNot only is he a trusted friend, but a valuable asset to the community. The University of Michigan-Dearborn is steadily increasing in stature throughout the country, and much of this is due to the untiring efforts of Dennis Papazian.Ē


High resolution photo of Dennis Papazian


CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
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