Euphrates College

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Girls in the Euphrates College of Kharpoot (1873)

Euphrates College (Turkish: Fırat Koleji, Armenian: Եփրատ Գոլէճ) was a coeducational high school in the Harput region (Harput is today part of the city of Elazığ in eastern Turkey), founded and directed by American missionaries and attended mostly by the Armenian community in the region.


In 1852 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions established 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 on trumped-up charges. The college buildings were then occupied by the Ottoman Military and initially used as training camp, and later as a military hospital.[1]

Euphrates College was officially closed shortly after the founding of the Republic of Turkey and nothing now remains of its buildings.



In addition to Lulejian: Nigohos Tenekejian, Hachadoor Nahigian, Garabed Sohigian, Hovannes Boujikanian, Mergerdich Vorberian, Samuel Hachadoorian. These 7 names are cited as Professors at Euphrates College on a memorial monument at Vernon Grove Cemetery, Milford, Massachusetts. Other memorials to Armenia & 11 Armenian victims of a 1914 fire on West St. are also in the same cemetery. (I will add photos of all when I can figure out how to do it! I'm 71 & still learning this technology!)

Notable students[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Henry H. Riggs, "Days of Tragedy in Armenia: Personal Experiences in Harpoot, 1915-1917", 1997, Michigan.
  2. ^ McGrew, William (2015). Educating across Cultures: Anatolia College in Turkey and Greece. Lanham+ Boulder + New York + London: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-4422-4346-0. Retrieved 26 August 2016. Appointed an instructor at Euphrates College at Harput (1904), where his older brother, Henry, then presided. ... he succeeded his brother in 1910 as president of Euphrates College until it was closed by World War I. Following the war, Ernest became Child Welfare Director for the NER... was expelled from Turkey in 1921
  3. ^ Shavit, David (1988). The United States in the Middle East: a historical dictionary. Greenwood Press. "Riggs graduated.. and was ordained in 1910... president of Euphrates College from 1910 to 1921, child welfare director of the Near East Relief in 1920-1921; and associate secretary and corresponding secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) from 1921 to 1932.

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