Our hearts have been heavy in recent months as we learned of the passing of two great friends to Centre Foundation, Diane Kerly and Henry Sahakian. Both were involved with Centre Foundation for many years and were very generous with their time and their giving. 

Henry and Diane were also Oak Tree Award recipients. The Oak Tree Award is Centre Foundation’s highest honor, and recipients are chosen annually for their service and commitment to Centre Foundation’s philanthropic efforts and the local community. 

In 2010, Henry was awarded the Oak Tree Award together with his wife, Seda Sahakian. They were selected for their leadership through a period of significant growth in the Foundation’s history and for the many years of generosity that they shared with our community

Henry Sahakian was a successful businessman, who immigrated to the United States in 1956 to attend Perkiomen School, a college preparatory boarding school in Pennsburg, PA. Soon after, he was accepted to The Pennsylvania State University Department of Mechanical Engineering. 

In addition to dedicating his life to many fruitful business ventures, such as Unimart and Meadow Pride Dairy, he engaged with a variety of charitable endeavors, caring deeply about the citizens of his new community. In addition to his support of Centre Foundation, Henry was an avid supporter of the Centre County Youth Service Bureau, Coaches vs. Cancer, Centre County Chamber of Business and Industry, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and many others. 

In 2018, Diane was selected as the recipient of the Oak Tree Award in recognition of her dedication as a local philanthropist. Through her service as a trustee of the Hamer Foundation, her involvement in the creation of the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, board service at Centre County Paws, and much more, she quietly made an immeasurable impact within our community. 

Diane was a graduate of Bucknell University and the New York University Stern School of Business. She worked for several public accounting firms before moving to the Centre region where she eventually became Controller and Vice President of State of the Art, Inc. 

She was also an amateur flutist and active with many civic and charitable organizations, such as Centre Foundation, the Hundred Cat Foundation, and ClearWater Conservancy.

Henry and Diane will both be deeply missed, and their contributions will continue to shape the lives of Centre County residents for years to come. Our condolences are with their loved ones as they grieve this significant loss.