American University of Beirut

Lifelong friendships forged at the American University of Beirut


The members of the Nursing Class of 1969 have stayed in touch over the years – and across thousands of miles. What is especially remarkable is that they have managed to get together for several in-person reunions – most recently in August 2022. “We got together for our 20th reunion in 1989, then our 25th reunion in 1994, and then our 50th reunion in 2019,” remembers Rosig Balikian (Baroutjian). “We had so much fun during our 50th reunion that we decided to get together every year – and then the pandemic hit! So, we had to wait until 2022 to get together again.”

The reunions have all taken place in California where – remarkably – 14 of the 26 members of the Class of 1969 ended up spending most of their lives. Rosig and her husband were the first to move to California. Ani Markarian (Chmsian) arrived several years later – and then Asdghig Samuelian, followed by Asdghig Daderian. “With our AUB nursing degrees, we were all able to get good jobs in the US,” says Rosig. “We stood out.” The members of the Nursing Class of 1969 supported each other, helped each other settle in, and stayed in touch. Many of them were members of the Armenian American Nurses Association, which is another way they stayed in touch. “A lot of us are Armenian, which is a strong bond,” says Rosig.

Rosig and her classmates remember their time at AUB fondly – even though it was a rigorous program. “There were 58 of us in the beginning, but only 26 of us graduated,” she says. Rosig credits the structure of the program for the strong friendships that were forged so many years ago. “We were together for three years – and took all of the same classes. We spent all our time together. It was a very special time in our lives that we all treasure and celebrate when we get together.”​​

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