The Beginning: The First International Students of Messiah College

One of the many perks of being overworked in college is learning how to say no, even when it comes to research. While completing the Flowers family history, I “met” Reverend Meshach Krikorian. Despite all of the great details I have found regarding Meshach’s life, I did not have the time to pursue his story, which similar to the Flowers research sparked a number of other grand histories, until now.

Meshach Krikorian Marquee

Meshach was considered one of the first international students to attend Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home. The marqee created in his honor was correct, yet there should have been at least two more marquees created in honor of each student within Messiah’s first international class to attend in 1911. 

How did this discovery come about?

As I was looking through the Messiah College Archives for pictures of Rachel Flowers there were a number of individuals that stood out in earlier photos of the college. Yes, they stuck out like a sore thumb. From 1912 to 1914, photos bore the faces of Meshach Krikorian, Jacob Ekmekijan, Hrant Athansian, and Samuel Krikorian.

Full Class Samuel Copy

Samuel is pictured on the far left standing behind the young woman sitting in the chair (1912). Messiah College Archives

Hrant Athanasian
Pictured here is Hrant (sitting on the front row) and Jacob (standing in the back row) (1912), Messiah College Archives

Troubles arose when I noticed Hrant, Jacob, and Samuel were pictured in photos at the time of Meshach’s enrollment. Little did I know, Hrant, Jacob, and Meshach all enrolled together in 1911. Samuel would attend the following year. It was great news; however, I had to shelve this project in order to complete Roots of a Hidden Legacy. 

The next five posts are a series sharing the journey of these men from Turkey to Grantham, Pennsylvania. Their respective journeys to America were possible due to the efforts of one woman, Ms. Rebecca Krikorian, aunt of Samuel Krikorian.

Join me for this new series and for more posts on the Flowers family.

Until the next post,



One response to “The Beginning: The First International Students of Messiah College

  1. Pingback: And They Were the First: A Look Into the First African American Students to Attend Christian Colleges and Universities | Diary of a Historian·

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