March 21, 2023
The Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn expresses its deep sorrow and sympathy for the family of Dr. Dennis Papazian on the occasion of his passing. Dr. Papazian was the Center’s Founder and first Director. It was his vision that saw the establishment of the Armenian Research Center in 1985, and his efforts that saw it funded via a permanent endowment, with generous donations from his friends, the late Edward and Helen Mardigian, and the local and national organizations of the Knights of Vartan. The Center was the first such Armenological research institute attached to a university in the United States.
In addition to his numerous services as long-time faculty member and administrator at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dr. Papazian worked diligently as Director of the Center for over two decades – until his retirement in 2006 – to increase the holdings of its impressive special collection of books, periodicals, audio/visual items and archive material, to launch a publishing program, to extend scholarly opportunities both to young researchers and established scholars, to help establish the George and Isabelle Elanjian scholarship fund for students, and to continue the offering of Armenian language courses for students on the UM-Dearborn campus through the sponsorship of the Center. Dr. Papazian was also a longtime president and treasurer of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS), and the Armenian Research Center became its first permanent secretariat. He also edited volumes 6-11 of the Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies, when it was published by the Armenian Research Center on behalf of SAS.
Dr. Papazian is survived by his wife, the noted academic administrator Dr. Mary Papazian and two daughters, Marie and Ani. The current staff at the Armenian Research Center will long cherish the blessed memory of Dr. Papazian and will try hard to build further upon the foundations which he set.