Thursday, March 29, 2012

Armenia College: Renamed Euphrates College 1852-1915

The American Board of Foreign Missions established 1852 a theological seminary in Harput to educate clergymen for the Armenian Evangelical Church, and expanded it 1859 to "American Harput Missionary College". To meet the growing demand for general education in English language, the school's program was extended in 1878, and it was renamed "Armenia College". However, after 10 years, the Ottoman authorities urged to change the school's name, which became finally "Euphrates College". For the building of the college, $140,000 funds were raised from the US Government and $40,000 from the local people in 1875. The facilities at the college consisted of a hospital and an orphanage in addition to a theological seminary and high schools for boys and girls. In 1895,  Kurds looted and burned the Armenian villages on the Harput plain, and in the same month the town was attacked and eight of the twelve buildings on the campus were burned down. In 1915 several of the leading Armenian members of the faculty were arrested, tortured, and executed. The college buildings were then occupied by the Ottoman Military and initially used as training camp, and later as a military hospital. Euphrates College was officially closed shortly after the founding of the Republic of Turkey and nothing now remains of its buildings.


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