Samuel & Dr. Hasmig Salibian: Supporting a New Era of AUA Advancement


Hasmig & Samuel Salibian

Samuel and Dr. Hasmig Salibian are partnering with the American University of Armenia (AUA) through the ‘Build a Better Future with AUA’ capital campaign, which aims to strengthen science, technology, and engineering education at the University, thereby advancing Armenia towards a new, technologically advanced position globally. 

Samuel Salibian was born in a Hamidie refugee camp in Aleppo, Syria to Genocide survivors from Marash, Cilicia. He attended Bethel School and later graduated from Aleppo College in 1954. Though he wanted to continue his education in Beirut, financial hindrances held him back. In 1957, he received news that Armenia, then a part of the USSR, was accepting foreign students of Armenian descent for entry into higher education institutions in Yerevan. Possessing all the prerequisite requirements to apply, he was accepted to the National Polytechnic Institute of Armenia and graduated in 1965 with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. 

With more promising job opportunities waiting for him in Beirut, Salibian left Armenia and found employment with an electro-mechanical consulting company, a role that allowed him to travel frequently to the Persian Gulf states, mainly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. In 1976, during the Lebanese Civil War, Salibian moved to Doha, Qatar, where he was appointed head of the electrical mechanical department at a contracting company. He then emigrated to the United States in 1984, where he started rebuilding his career with a switch over to real estate sales. Equipped with a strong educational background and serious work experience in engineering, he quickly found success in real estate development and investment. 

Hasmig Salibian was born in Aleppo, Syria, the eldest of four children born to Hagop and Nevart Kirishian, surviving children of the Armenian Genocide from Sivaz. Inspired by one of her Armenian language teachers during her elementary education at Guiligian in Aleppo, she left for Cyprus to study at the Melkonian Educational Institute and graduated with high honors. Back in Aleppo, she worked as a schoolteacher for a year and then began to study nursing at the American University of Beirut (AUB), until she decided to pursue her true calling of becoming a doctor. She left for Armenia and graduated from Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU) in 1966. The Salibians then moved to Beirut, where she took on residency in anesthesiology at AUB and worked for the next 17 years as a staff anesthesiologist in Beirut until the family emigrated to the United States due to the civil war in Lebanon. 

In the United States, the Salibians settled in Boston, Massachusetts, where Dr. Salibian persevered in her resolve to pass all the necessary foreign licensing examinations for a Doctorate in Medicine and Residency in Anesthesiology. In addition to hard work, intelligence, and determination, her fundamental medical education at YSMU proved indispensable to growing her career in the United States. Soon, Dr. Salibian was also asked to join the esteemed academic teaching faculty at the Boston University Medical Center Department of Anesthesia. She served as an associate professor in anesthesiology until her retirement, teaching and inspiring many of her medical students to pursue careers in medicine and anesthesia. Dr. Salibian achieved success by embodying Elbert Hubbard’s famous quote, “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” She retired from Boston City Medical Center at the age of 75 after 25 years of service.

Samuel Salibian remembers first learning about AUA from Dr. Mihran Agbabian. “I was sure then that introducing Western-style education in Armenia would be of the utmost importance,” he recalls. “Now, we are witnessing how highly trained AUA graduates are involved in many industries and contributing to development in both the public as well as private sectors.” 

Recently, after receiving promotional materials from the AUA Office of Development announcing the construction of the new Science & Engineering building, the Salibians were inspired to support this important initiative, especially considering their academic backgrounds and the multiple specialties that will be embraced in the curriculum taught at the new facility. Their enthusiasm for supporting students grew even stronger in recognition of their own blessings: receiving higher education degrees without the financial burden of paying tuition. 

Looking forward, the Salibians believe that equipping the emerging generation studying at AUA with a cutting-edge, high-quality education will play a critical role in developing Armenia into a technologically advanced country in a short matter of time. 

To learn more about this important campaign and also lend your support to ‘Build a Better Future with AUA,’ please visit