Precepts to the graduates of UWC Dilijan: “Quo Vadis?” and being “Armenian by choice” - Mediamax.am

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Precepts to the graduates of UWC Dilijan: “Quo Vadis?” and being “Armenian by choice”


Photo: UWC Dilijan

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Photo: UWC Dilijan


The graduation ceremony of UWC Dilijan College this year opened with the famous song “For you, Armenia” by Charles Aznavour and Georges Garvarentz, performed by the Voices of Artsakh group.

Photo: UWC Dilijan

With this performance, the college graduates decided to express their gratitude and support to Ruben Vardanyan, the co-founder of UWC Dilijan College, who has been illegally detained in Baku prison since September 2023. They also honored the good friend of the college, the world-famous chansonnier Charles Aznavour, whose centenary is celebrated this May.  In his honor, a scholarship is allocated to the students from France or French-speaking countries.

Photo: UWC Dilijan

“This song by Aznavour is about the resilience of the Armenian people. The reason for inviting the Voices of Artsakh is also that the co-founder of UWC Dilijan, Ruben Vardanyan, went to Artsakh during a difficult period and stayed with the people until the end,” said the graduate conducting the ceremony.

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Veronika Zonabend, co-founder and president of the UWC Dilijan Council, emphasized that each student brings his/her own values and culture and carries a bit of Armenia and its culture in their life journey.

 

“I can reassure you that in within your life you will find a lot of Armenian traces around you, will notice things you have never noticed before. For the whole life you will become Armenian by choice, as I am – Armenian by choice.” She concluded her speech with the words of her husband, Ruben Vardanyan: “I am confident that together we can do a lot to make the world a better place for everyone, stand up for your values and be ready to give more than you ever hope to receive in return.”

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Noubar Afeyan, honorary member of the UWC Dilijan Board and patron, was also present at the graduation ceremony with his spouse, UWC Dilijan Board member Anna Afeyan.

 

In his speech, Afeyan reminded the graduates about the symbolism of biblical saying “Quo Vadis.”

Photo: UWC Dilijan

“It appears in the New Testament, when the Apostol Peter is fleeing persecution in Rome and encounters a vision of Jesus Christ walking towards the city and asks Jesus – “quo Vadis Domine?’’ and Jesus replies – “I am going to Rome to be crucified again. This response compels Peter to turn back to Rome and faces challenges with renewed courage and conviction.  Now I wanted to mention that today for two reasons - one - we have heard of my dear friend and partner Ruben and what he has gone through over the last year, and nothing more symbolizes “going back to Rome to face crucifixion - the way Ruben did - going to Artsakh. Quo Vadis carries a profound symbolism and offers valuable lessons applicable to each one of you. I urge you to ask this question throughout your life,” Noubar Afeyan emphasized.

Photo: UWC Dilijan

This year, 109 students from around 50 countries graduated from UWC Dilijan College.

Photo: UWC Dilijan

Since the founding of UWC Dilijan College, 160 Armenian students have had the opportunity to get education in all the colleges within the UWC network, with 98 of them at the Dilijan School. Some 98 percent of Armenian students studied and are studying for free. Their tuition is paid by patrons.

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