The Melkonian Institution was created as an orphanage in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.
Zaven Patriarch of Constantinople was the first Director of this Institution, who in April 1926 undertook the heavy task of traveling and collecting over 300 orphans, boys and girls, amongst thousands of children left destitute on the plains of Eastern Anatolia and in the neighboring countries as a result of the Armenian Genocide. The Melkonian Institution as a safe heaven is therefore closely connected with the dark pages of the early 20th century Armenian History and is part of it.. The hundreds and thousands of orphans that were provided with shelter, sustenance and schooling by dint of the enormous gift bequeathed by Garabed & Krikor Melkonian benefactor brothers, confirm this.
Along the Limassol Highway, occupying the foreground of the Melkonian campus, there is a grove of cypress trees. This grove is a significant landmark and has a historic and sentimental value to the Armenian Nation. These trees were planted in the early years of the Melkonian Institute by the orphan students in memory of their loved ones and of the millions that perished during the Genocide. Nowhere else in the world, not even in Armenia, the Armenian Genocide is memorialized in this manner.
Krikor and Garabed Melkonian brothers, the greatest benefactors of the Armenian nation, are both buried at the School grounds, at the open space between the two main buildings. A beautifully designed marble monument with intricate engravings and the bronze busts of the Melkonian Brothers prominently stand as a gesture of eternal gratitude to their memory. For thousands of Melkonian graduates and friends this is a sacred place. Even the mere thought of removing this monument from its original site will be an outrage and an affront to the memory of the Melkonian Benefactors.
More than 1500 Armenians have graduated from the Melkonian over the years. Currently, 32 teachers instruct some 200 students from over 20 countries, ranging from the Middle East to North and South America.