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Former director of Jorgensen dies

by Sherry Fisher - November 17, 2008


Arppie Charkoudian, former director of Jorgensen Auditorium, died Oct. 30. She was 82.

She lived in Storrs for many years, and recently had moved to Springfield, Mass.

Charkoudian came to Storrs in 1958 as an assistant to the first director of Jorgensen Auditorium, as the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts was then known.

She spent the next four decades there, serving as house manager, business manager, associate director, and executive director. She retired in 1998.

“Arppie was a true advocate for the cultural arts, particularly classical music,” says Rodney Rock, director of Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. “Chamber music was her first love. During her tenure, the numbers climbed in that series.”

Rock adds, “Jorgensen has a wonderful history and reputation and Arppie worked hard to continue that reputation.”

Emanuel Wexler, emeritus professor of economics, says, “Music was her life. She was very attached to Jorgensen Auditorium and did a wonderful job.”

Wexler adds, “She was one of the friendliest and warmest persons I’ve ever met. She was giving, generous, and outgoing.”

Charkoudian was an active member of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Relief Society, and the Armenian National Committee.

She is survived by two sisters, a brother, three nieces and a nephew.

Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church or to the Armenian Relief Fund, 135 Goodwin Street, Indian Orchard, MA 01151.

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