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LOS ANGELES – Dr. Garbis Der-Yeghiayan, president of Mashdots College, passed away on January 12 in Los Angeles due to a rapid deterioration of his health after testing COVID-19 positive. 

Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1949, Der-Yeghiayan earned bachelor’s degrees in Political Science/Public Administration and Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude) as well as Master’s degrees in Educational Administration and International Relations from the American University of Beirut. At the age of 17, he began teaching at both the elementary and high school level in Beirut before serving as high school principal in Lebanon at the age of 22. After moving to the United States in 1976, he attended Northwestern University earning his doctorate in Human Development and Social Policy, and the University of La Verne earning a second doctorate in Educational Management. He holds honorary doctorates from five universities. He is the first Armenian American inducted into the Academy of Diaspora Sciences in Armenia. 

Dr. Der-Yeghiayan is internationally recognized as a founder and catalyst of Armenian higher education in the United States. He served as dean and president, as well as professor of Education and International Relations at the American Armenian International College/University of La Verne from 1976 to 1992. Afterwards, he served for many years as president and professor of Educational Management and International Relations/Public Diplomacy at Mashdots College in Glendale, California. Eleven universities have bestowed upon him honorary professorships.