Vartan Gregorian is the 12th president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grant-making institution founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. Prior to his current position, which he assumed in June 1997, Gregorian served for nine years as the 16th president of Brown University. He was born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents, and received his elementary education in Iran and his secondary education in Lebanon. In 1956 he entered Stanford University, where he majored in history and the humanities, graduating with honors in 1958, and was awarded a Ph.D. in history and humanities in 1964; his numerous civic and academic honors include some 56 honorary degrees. In 1986, Gregorian was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and in 1989, the American Academy of the Institute of Arts and Letters' Gold Medal for Service to the Arts. In 1998, President William J. Clinton awarded him the National Humanities Medal. In 2004, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award.