Single Student Residence Receives Donor
“The Armenian Church keeps the Armenian faith alive,” quietly comments Toros Mangassarian, who recently donated to the new St. Nersess campus in Armonk, NY. His firm belief that St. Nersess Armenian Seminary plays a vital role in educating seminarians who are American born as well as those from abroad prompted his decision to contribute $350,000 towards the new Single Student Residence building.
Mr. Mangassarian first learned of the St. Nersess construction project at the initial fundraising event held at the home of Haig and Nadine Ariyan in June 2013. Through his long term friendship with Haig Ariyan, a St. Nersess Board Member, and Zaven Tachdjian, the project’s Design & Construction Coordinator, Toros’ connection to St. Nersess flourished. “Toros’ support and outstanding generosity towards the St. Nersess mission comes as no surprise to me. I have had the privilege of his friendship for many years and he has often told me of his firm belief that Armenian identity and perseverance is in many ways owed to our church,” commented Haig Ariyan.
The benefactor is familiar with the location of the seminary’s new hometown of Armonk, having lived in Westchester County, NY, for the past 35 years with his wife Gacia, an ardent supporter of Toros’ charitable undertakings. Together they have three grown children, Taleen, Mark and Gabriela, who now reside in New York City. After touring the future campus with Zaven Tachdjian and Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dean, Mr. Mangassarian knew he had made the right choice. “The small town setting coupled with the fact that St. Nersess seminarians will be able to enjoy a tranquil campus with new classrooms, a library, and chapel housed in the new Karekin I Theological Center, a dining hall, a recreation center, as well as residences for single students, married students and faculty, this will help St. Nersess to grow and expand,” said Toros recently.
An active member and supporter of the St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church in White Plains, NY, Mr. Mangassarian moved from Lebanon to New York in the 1970s, where he worked as a commodity trader in fertilizers. In 1982, he established Nitron International in Greenwich, CT which handles fertilizer commodity activities worldwide. “Toros has always been generous toward Armenian causes and churches. He is a gentleman who believes firmly in what St. Nersess represents and in its mission,” added Zaven Tachdjian, a friend and fellow member of St. Gregory Church.