Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that the Center for Armenian Studies learns of the passing of Dr. Ara G. Paul on November 15, 2023.

Born on March 1, 1929, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Ara's journey began with humble roots shaped by the immigrant experience of his parents from Armenia. From an early age, Ara displayed a keen intellect and a passion for science and business, attributes that would eventually guide him towards a career in pharmacy. His academic pursuits took him across the country, from the University of Idaho to the University of Connecticut, and post-doctoral work at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

In 1957, Ara found his academic home at the University of Michigan, embarking on a remarkable 38-year career at the College of Pharmacy. His expertise in pharmacognosy, particularly his groundbreaking research on hallucinogenic compounds, solidified his reputation as a pioneer in the field. But it was not only his research that set him apart; Ara's leadership as Dean from 1975 to 1995 left an indelible mark on the College.

Under his visionary stewardship, the College of Pharmacy evolved into a global center for education and research. Ara's foresight led to the adoption of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, a milestone embraced by pharmacy colleges nationwide. His impact extended beyond the classroom, as he successfully expanded the college's endowment, paving the way for enhanced facilities, research funding, and scholarship opportunities.

Yet, amidst these achievements, one aspect of Ara's legacy shines particularly bright for us—the profound impact of his donation to the Center for Armenian Studies at the University of Michigan. Honoring his brother who served in World War II, the Harry Ardashes Paul Memorial Fund, established in 1981, has been one of the most impactful in shaping and supporting Armenian Studies. His generosity not only reflected his deep connection to his Armenian heritage but also served as a testament to his commitment to advancing education and cultural understanding. The Center for Armenian Studies stands today as a living tribute to Ara's dedication to preserving and promoting Armenian history and culture.

Ara Paul's commitment to education, his innovative leadership, and his contributions to Armenian Studies have left an indelible mark on the University of Michigan. However, it is his incredible generosity, exemplified by his pivotal donation to the Center, that distinguishes him as a true visionary and philanthropist to whom we owe much of our successes.

As we bid farewell to a life well-lived, let us remember Ara not only for his academic and professional achievements but also for his warmth, curiosity, and the love he shared with his family, friends, and colleagues. His legacy will continue to inspire and guide us, reminding us of the profound impact one individual can make in furthering education, fostering cultural understanding, and leaving the world a better place than they found it.

Dr. Paul will be dearly missed, but his legacy will continue to flourish in the hearts and minds of all of us both here at the University of Michigan as well as throughout the global network of Armenian Studies. We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Shirley Paul, their sons John and Richard, and all his family that were impacted by this loss.

Gottfried Hagen
Director, Center for Armenian Studies
Professor, Turkish Studies