New Scholarship Established in Memory of Marcus Mamourian
Recently, a scholarship was established for students preparing for priesthood at St. Nersess Seminary, thanks to the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Alexander and Pamela Mamourian who tragically lost their son in 2022.
Marcus Mamourian was born in New Hampshire and grew up in a small town where there was only one other Armenian family. He had little exposure to the Armenian Church as a young child, but he was close to his grandfather of the same name and from him learned much about books, history, life, and Armenian religion. While a good share of his early youth was spent chasing his dream of playing basketball at a high level, his knowledge of Armenian Christian faith deepened as he matured.
Marcus visited Armenia twice, once working as a summer counselor at United World College in Dilijan. He was adept at languages and chose to major in languages and philosophy at Brown University, graduating with multiple honors. Religious knowledge and studies continually pursued him, enough so that he successfully petitioned to spend a month at what is known to be the oldest monastery in world, Mount Athos, in Greece. He considered becoming an Orthodox priest but was not ready to make that commitment and so went on to post-graduate studies in comparative literature at Dartmouth. During those years his Christian faith, particularly Orthodoxy, was never far from his thoughts and his personal studies & reading. One summer at his family’s home in Vermont he cleared land and planted a garden, reading about the saints during breaks.
It would be an oversight not to mention that Marcus was an unusually committed inspiration for his many connections – friends, some of his professors, as well as his family, and he unequivocally changed lives of many who came to know him with the example of his own deep faith. He encouraged others, particularly his peers, to question material earthly existence and to dig deeper into faith in God.
Though Marcus did not spend time at St. Nersess, his parents believe he would have felt at home there, as a scholar, an Armenian-American, and as a young man of deep faith. After Marcus passed far too young, with so much more to offer the world, his family was devastated. But in time, to create something positive from their tragedy, they decided to create two scholarships in Marcus’s memory. One of these is at Middlebury College’s Summer Breadloaf Writing Conference, since he was passionate about literature and was an accomplished writer himself. For the second, they chose St. Nersess Seminary because of Marcus’s deep Christian faith and his unfulfilled consideration of becoming a priest. They are confident that Marcus rests in the hands of God now.
With the establishment of this scholarship at St. Nersess by family and friends, and plans to add additional funds in 2024, the Mamourian family hopes the newly created fund will encourage future clergy on their chosen path at the seminary. The Mamourians are active members of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Church in Wynnewood, PA.