By JohnTaylor Wildfeuer
At the close of a universally heart-rending year, City College has lost two prominent and beloved faculty members. Dr. Henry Augustine, 82, and Lyudmila Karapetyan, 75, each in their own way, knit themselves tightly into the City College community, now threadbare and grieving.
Dr. Henry Augustine
Dr. Augustine, who served as dean of both the Evans and Southeast Campuses and spent a 34-year career dedicated to the City College community, died on Dec. 29.
Dr. Henry Augustine has been a part of the City College community since his initial employment at the Mission Community College Center and Southeast Campus in 1977. Since that time he was incredibly active in the community, serving for several years as Special Assistant to the Chancellor and spearheading the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Transfer Program, the Summer Bridge Program, the Peer Mentoring Program, and the African American Retention Program, now the African American Scholastic Programs (AASP).
The Scholastic Programs offer resources to underrepresented students, for whom he was passionate in his commitments, to aid them in acquiring a high school diploma and an Associates degree, transferring to universities, finding career opportunities, and developing an abiding love of lifelong learning.
“Doc will be greatly missed but his legacy lives on through, not only his family, but also through thousands of lives he impacted while serving at CCSF,” reads his biography, written with contributions from family members and colleagues.
City College Instructor in the African American department Studies Kim Wise, who was counseled by Dr. Augustine as a City College Student and has worked with him through the intervening years recalls that, “he had an 800- line in his home where if students needed to get in touch with him away from the city they would call directly to him.”
“His legacy is more than just what he started at the college,” says Wise, “It has impacted the Bay Area drastically.”
He is survived by his three daughters, eight grandchildren, six great grandchildren, his brother and sister and his colleague, Dr. Kim A. Wise-Gastinel, along with countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family.
Dr. Augustine also leaves behind a decades long legacy of community advocacy and scores of former students whose minds he helped to mold.
A virtual celebration of life was held for Dr. Henry Augustine on Jan. 8 on Facebook Live.
City College and Lowell High School instructor Lyudmila Karapetyan, a beloved mathematics instructor of over 30 years, died on Dec. 27. A refugee of formerly Soviet Azerbaijan, Karapetyan escaped the ripple effects of the crumbling USSR first to Moscow, and then to the United States.
Within a year, while sharing a home with her older sister and niece, Karapetyan had learned English and been hired as an Instructor for City College. From that day until her last, and throughout the past five years during which she battled Stage IV cancer, she remained a committed Instructor at both City College and Lowell High School.
Lowell High School Principal, Dacotah Swett, says Karapetyan was known for her “good humor, patience and acceptance of difficult challenges,” and described her as a, “selfless teacher who continued to show her caring and commitment to her students both at Lowell and at City College.”
Karapetyan will be missed by her students, and by those with whom she worked. “Lyudmila was a long-time member of our family,” says Mathematics department Chair Katia Fuchs, “and always a pleasure to work with.”
Lyudmila Karapetyan is survived by her sisters, a nephew, two nieces, and a grand-niece who her family says “was in essence her deeply loved granddaughter.”
A funeral was held for Lyudmila Karapetyan on Jan. 12 at Skyline Memorial Park in Daly City.