Pictured above: Clarice and Ben Krikorian established two scholarships, which benefit music students studying piano and orchestra.

Over the years, Ben and Clarice Krikorian have formed a deep connection with the College of Arts and Humanities. Ben Krikorian earned his bachelor’s degree from Fresno State in 1972. He considered being a music major but chose to study accounting instead, and went on to a successful accounting career.

Since 2010, the Krikorians have made it easier for Fresno State students who chose to follow their passion and study the arts. In 2010, they established an orchestra scholarship and a piano scholarship, which benefit students studying those disciplines.

Clarice also became a member of the Arts and Humanities Advisory Board in 2010.

“The kids that are studying the arts are at a little bit of a disadvantage because of the time commitment to master their skill,” said Ben, in “The Art of Giving,” a video in which they talk about their gifts to the college. “Whether it’s in painting or in music, piano, instrumental, vocal — it is a huge time commitment. To be able to help these kids follow their passion with a little bit of financial support is something that they will never forget because it’s going to save them time and it will allow them to master their skills at a better rate.”

The Krikorians have four children, two of whom are also Fresno State undergraduate alums.

Michael was a music major, in piano performance. He went on to get his master’s in music from the Manhattan School of Music in New York and is a doctoral candidate in May from the University of Southern California.

ike her father, Kristen graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting. She also shared his love of music, which was her minor, and played the violin with the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra.

Aaron earned a bachelor’s in accounting from U.C. Berkeley, and David earned a bachelor’s of fine arts in photography and imaging from New York University.

Clarice said their commitment to the arts came as a result of watching Michael develop his skill through the Fresno State music program. He began studying piano with Andreas Werz when he was just 12 years old. In addition to majoring in music at Fresno State, Michael also took a Summer Arts course in 2009 and 2010.

Even though they no longer have a child in the music department, the Krikorians continue to stay connected with our College, attending many musical events and lectures each year.

“We participate in as many events each year as possible,” Clarice said. “We are supporters of the Philip Lorenz Keyboard Concert Series, attending most of their concerts and many of the Orpheus concerts as well. We attend many of the piano major’s recitals, orchestra performances, faculty concerts, etc. We also attend many of the Armenian Studies lectures and programs, as well as the CineCulture series at Fresno State.”

They have found great satisfaction through what they have been able to give back to the College of Arts and Humanities:
“It has been an honor to serve on the Arts and Humanities Advisory Board,” Clarice said. ” I am pleased and excited to work with an active and energetic board under the guidance of the dean, Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval and associate dean, Dr. Honora Chapman, in helping them fulfill their vision of building a bridge that connects community members with the Fresno State community in bringing interest to the arts and humanities. I am also honored to serve on the community board of Summer Arts, working to achieve the same goals.”