Joyce Philibosian Stein Awarded Ellis Island Medal of Honor


NEW YORK — Joyce Philibosian Stein, an ex-officio member of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) Board of Directors, co-chair of the AMAA National Orphan and Child Care Committee, trustee of the Stephen Philibosian Foundation, long-time Armenian Assembly Board member and Life Trustee and ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees for Haigazian University, was honored on May 12 by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), sponsors of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor was presented to Stein on Ellis Island, where 12 million immigrants entered the United States from 1892 to 1954.

Each year since 1986, NECO has honored the nation’s diverse past by sponsoring the Ellis Island Medals of Honor. The medals of honor pay tribute to the ancestry groups that comprise America’s unique cultural mosaic. The medals are presented on Ellis Island, in a dramatic ceremony, to American citizens from across the country for their outstanding contributions to their communities, their nation and the world.

Past Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients include six presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, entertainers and leaders of industry, education, the arts, government, media and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity. They are awarded to outstanding American citizens, from all walks of life, who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to this country. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among the nation’s most prestigious awards. The United States Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the medals of honor and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. To date, more than 1,800 American citizens have received Ellis Island Medals of Honor.

Stein is the daughter of the late Sirpuhe Philibosian Conte and Stephen Philibosian, a philanthropist, entrepreneur and a co-founder of Haigazian University in Beirut, Lebanon. Both having crossed the Ellis Island threshold, they would be amazed to know their daughter was awarded this medal.

Stein was born in New York City and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds an honorary degree from Haigazian University (LLD). She lived in St. Andrew’s, Scotland, while her husband, Joe, attended St. Mary’s College. She now resides with her husband in Indian Wells, Calif. In keeping with her father’s legacy, Stein has supported the AMAA and Haigazian University in leadership positions. Among her many other contributions to philanthropic causes, she served as a volunteer and major fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and as chair of the Daisy Day Fund, when President Dwight Eisenhower was the honorary chairman. She has also served as a member of the Support Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Her husband represents AMAA in the United Armenian Fund and is involved in numerous other Armenian organizations and projects. Her daughter, Stephanie Landes, is a current member of the AMAA Board of Directors and her daughter, Tina Segel, is a member of Haigazian University Board of Directors. She also actively serves on the LA Child and Orphan Committee and has sponsored the annual Luncheon and Fashion Show.

“The AMAA congratulates Joyce on this very prestigious award,” said Levon Filian, executive director of the AMAA. “Joyce is a true leader who puts her heart and soul into each and every project to make the world a little better than how she found it.”

Armenian Assembly Chairman Hirair Hovnanian, on behalf of the entire board, applauded Stein’s dedication and praised her for serving the “community with distinction” and “setting standards for exceptional leadership.”

Fellow Armenians Nancy Arabian, Dr. Nishan Goudsouzian, Kevork I. Karajerjian, Dalida Keuroghlian, Papken Megerian, Dr. Ohannes A. Nercessian and Alice Petrossian also received the 2012 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.