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Alex (1901-96) and Marie (1903-93) Manoogian

The origins of the Center for Armenian Studies (CAS) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, lie in the Armenian language and later history classes taught beginning in 1976 by a number of known scholars and teachers. The Armenia Studies Program, as the center was then known, was officially established in 1981, when Mr. and Mrs. Alex and Marie Manoogian endowed the Alex Manoogian Chair in Modern Armenian History (Department of History), which has been held by Professor Ronald Suny (1981-97), Professor Stephanie Platz (1997-2000), Professor Gerard Libaridian (2001-12), and is currently in the hands of Professor Hakem Al-Rustom.

In 1987, the Manoogian family endowed a second position, the Marie Manoogian Chair in Armenian Language and Literature and Dr. Kevork Bardakjian has held that position since that time. After a productive and impactful career in the position, the position recently swapped hands to Dr. Michael Pifer in Fall 2022. In 1997, the Marie Manoogian Chair was moved from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures to the Department of Near Eastern Studies (now the Department of Middle East Studies).

Ronald Suny
Kevork Bardakjian
Gerard Libaridian
Kathryn Babayan
Melanie S. Tanielian
Gottfried Hagen

Professor Ronald Suny directed the program from its establishment in 1981 until 1995. Professor Kevork Bardakjian was CAS director from 1995 to 2007, followed by Professor Gerard Libaridian from 2007 to 2012 and Professor Kathryn Babayan from 2012 to 2019. The most recent director of the Center for Armenian Studies was Professor Melanie S. Tanielian from 2019 to 2022 who is currently on sabbatical, leaving the leadership of the center to Professor Gottfried Hagen as the current interim director.

CAS is a unit at U-M's International Institute; a steering committee guides its programming and budgeting policies while a smaller executive committee supervises the implementation of programs.

The activities of the center are supported by a number of endowments and major gifts from the Alex and Marie Manoogian Foundation (Taylor, Michigan).