The scholarship was establishment with the bequest of the renowned American Armenian attorney Honorable Gladys Barsamian. Armenia Fund USA facilitated the process. The newly established foundation plans to support two economically challenged female students of the AUA for the period of six years. The scholarship will cover 50% of the tuition fee. The students must be enrolled in the Master’s degree program of the legal department and display high grades. The applications for the support are accepted by the AUA financial assistance office and are then reviewed by a dedicated committee, which makes the final decision on the beneficiary. The 2017 scholarship was awarded to Master’s degree second year students Maria Tonoyan and Ani Alaverdyan.
Having graduated the Detroit State Wayne University with the Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Law degrees, Ms. Barsamian went on to pursue a successful career in law. She worked as an attorney for 17 years, was an author of numerous publications, was appointed to a number of important positions and was an esteemed member of many benevolent organizations and foundations. She also provided free legal counsel to immigrants, many of whom were of Armenian origin.
In 1975, Ms. Barsamian was appointed as Wayne County Probate Court judge for bequest cases. She was the first female judge in the county and held the post for 18 years. Following her retirement, one of the public schools of the county was named after her. Throughout her life, Ms. Barsamian actively participated in the work of Armenian organizations. She was a member of Michigan’s St. Hovhannes church council, American Armenian church youth organization central committee, Michigan AGBU Alek and Mary Manoukian educational center council. She taught in the Sunday school and sang in the church choir. Ms. Barsamian passed away in 2016 at the age of 84.