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David Geffen School of Medicine

Honoring the Philanthropy of the Manoukians



Photography by Todd Cheney/UCLA Photography

On November 10, 2016, UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block welcomed more than 60 family members and friends of Tamar and Vatche Manoukian, along with UCLA faculty and staff, to a celebration of the Manoukians' generous philanthropy. The evening honored the couple's landmark gift to the Division of Digestive Diseases in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA that will provide unrestricted funds to accelerate research, innovative clinical care and educational priorities. In recognition of their leadership philanthropy, the division was named the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, making this the first division naming in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Also in honor of the Manoukians, the university named 100 UCLA Medical Plaza the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Medical Building.

"We have come to give our deepest thanks to two visionaries, Tamar and Vatche, both extraordinary people," Chancellor Block said. He explained that UCLA's significant accomplishments require the support of the community, and "this event is the latest example of the unbreakable bonds we have with our friends."

Chancellor Block then introduced Dr. John C. Mazziotta (RES '81, FEL '83), vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and CEO of UCLA Health, who added his thanks to the Manoukians for their gift. "It is so important to us, and it has more meaning than just a name on a building," Dr. Mazziotta said. "It is part of what we want to build here, the future of medicine. It's a wonderful opportunity for us to take your generosity and turn it into ideas, actions and plans that will help thousands and millions of people, because the research that is done at UCLA is transmitted throughout the world."

Dr. Eric Esrailian (FEL '06), co-chief of the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases and Lincy Foundation Chair in Clinical Gastroenterology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, followed Dr. Mazziotta and thanked Dr. Gary Gitnick, co-chief of the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases and The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation Chair in Digestive Diseases; UCLA faculty; UCLA's leadership team; and the Manoukians. "It's unbelievable to have a family like this give such an endorsement to a public university. I can't express how grateful I am to them," Dr. Esrailian said.

The evening concluded with a special performance of Armenian music by the VEM Quartet and mezzo-soprano Danielle Bayne, all students in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

For more information, contact Laurel Zeno at: (310) 825-1980


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