PHC's first piece of outdoor art

Posted by Hannah Gaschler on 5/1/24 9:31 AM

PHC is gifted a khatchkar, an Armenian cross

A 600-pound, 6-foot-tall stone Armenian cross, known as a khatchkar, lies in a box on campus waiting to be erected on the far side of Lake Bob. “I would love for it to be up by commencement, but I’m doubtful that will happen,” Senior Advancement Officer Scott Bedrosian commented. 

Bedrosian connected with a donor two years ago over their shared heritage—Bedrosian is 50% Armenian and the donor 100%. One day the donor called and offered to buy PHC a khatchkar handmade in Armenia, and the PHC's leadership team approved a design. Bedrosian and President Jack Haye then worked on the wording for the plaque, while the donor placed the order and also purchased a book for PHC’s library about Armenian history. plaque edited

Armenia is a country in the South Caucasus that plays a key role in Christian history not only being where some hypothesize that Noah’s Ark landed, but also as the first country in 301 A.D. to declare itself a Christian nation. One important part of recent Armenian history is the genocide, which began in 1915. “That is a big deal,” Bedrosian said. “Over one-third of the world’s Armenian population was wiped out by the Turks, with the concurrence of the Germans.” 

Armenia mapArmenia is landlocked and surrounded on three sides by the hostile Muslim nations Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan. Armenia engaged in a bloody war with Azerbaijan from 1988-1994 over some disputed Armenian territory within Azerbaijan’s borders. The conflict rekindled late in 2022 and today Azerbaijan is again committing atrocities against the Armenian people and destroying ancient Armenian churches. “We are rightfully concerned about Israel, but we also have Christians—our brothers and sisters—that are getting massacred without protest or support,” Bedrosian said.

Part of the reason for adding the cross to our campus is for its artistic beauty. “I think every college campus needs significant art pieces, especially a place like PHC that prides itself in classical history and culture,” Bedrosian said. The cross will also bring awareness to our faith history and Armenia’s role in it.

But the ultimate goal of erecting the cross is to point people to Christ. “When you see that cross out there, I’m not concerned whether you remember Armenia,” Bedrosian said. “But if you wake up in the morning and see the cross on a hill, and you think ‘That’s my Savior, He did that for me, that’s why we’re here,’ then I think we have accomplished our goal.” 

One of PHC's distinctives is holding an unwavering biblical worldview


 Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is the foundation of America.


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