On Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, Sabancı University held the commencement ceremony for its 20th graduate and 17th undergraduate classes. Graduates received their diplomas at a ceremony on the Sabancı University campus.
The top ranking students of the three faculties also received their awards. The Valedictorian of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences was Naci Ege Saraç, the Valedictorian of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was Atakan Başdüzen, and the Valedictorian of the School of Management was Burak Şahin.
Left To Right: Naci Ege Saraç, Atakan Başdüzen, Güler Sabancı, Burak Şahin
Sabancı University Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees Güler Sabancı's advice to graduates:
• You commence your lives as young individuals devoted to the scientific method and Republican values, egalitarian at heart and free in mind, thought and conscience.
• When faced with challenges, let universal values light your path.
• It is a lifelong endeavor to build one's personality.
• You are defined by how creative, courageous, civilized, conscientious and capable of common sense you are.
• I advise all of you to build a character that is not limited to your resume, a personality that will lead to you being remembered as a "good, worthy and conscientous human".
• Go beyond all identities; have respect for your fellow humans and their differences.
• If we are to live in a better world, it falls upon you to do this.
• Do not let anyone drag your objectives downwards.
• Do not hesitate to ask for guidance or advice, but always make your decisions with self-confidence.
“We intended to make a difference in higher education when we started 20 years ago”
Güler Sabancı began her speech by celebrating the 20th year of Sabancı University. Sabancı continued that they had intended to make a difference in higher education and create a global university when they started 20 years ago, and had breakthrough scientific achievements and research that defined the future. Güler Sabancı emphasized Sabancı University Honorary Chairman late Sakıp Sabancı’s firm belief that a better future for Turkey lay in a well-educated and well-trained youth.
Sabancı spoke about her meetings with alumni residing in Boston, San Francisco, London, Amsterdam and Munich, saying that they were delighted with their achievements. Sabancı continued, "We once again saw proof that we were great at raising true 'global citizens' equipped with competencies that are applicable anywhere in the world - an achievement that is dear to us all." She added that graduates were doing well whether in the academic and business world.
A new administration in the 20th year of Sabancı University
Güler Sabancı explained that the 20th year of Sabancı University was marked with significant changes in the administration, and that the return of Professor Yusuf Leblebici, who was recently appointed President, boosted their strength. Sabancı added that Yusuf Leblebici’s outstanding contributions to the development of a unique and trendsetting system in the early years of Sabancı University. Sabancı continued, “It is a matter of pride and honor that Yusuf Leblebici returns to our university as its President after his oustanding achievements and experience in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne."
Güler Sabancı announced that another major change in administration was due for the Secretary General, a position that is critical to the institutional structure of Sabancı University. She said that Haluk Bal, who had been Secretary General for nearly 15 years, was due to retire and would be succeeded by Rasim Karas.
“You commence your lives as young individuals devoted to Republican values, egalitarian at heart and free in mind, thought and conscience”
Addressing the graduates, Güler Sabancı said, “You graduate at a time when a new world order is being created with technology a major motivating factor. Nevertheless, the world continues to be rife with difficulties. Everyone wants to read, see or hear people who think alike. Unfortunately, they become less tolerant of differences. Supercilious differences, labels, gender and any kind of opinion can result in division. The way out is going beyond all identities, seeing and understanding fellow humans, and respecting differences. If we are to live in a better world, it falls upon you to do this."
Güler Sabancı added that they commenced their lives as young individuals devoted to the scientific method and Republican values, egalitarian at heart and free in mind, thought and conscience.
Güler Sabancı emphasized that receiving education at Sabancı University was a great privilege which provided them with the capabilities to become ‘global citizens’ and make a difference wherever they may be.
"It is a lifelong endeavor to build one's personality"
Continuing her advice, Güler Sabancı said, "Remember that you are more than your resume. What makes you and defines you is not the diploma you hold or the number of Instagram followers you have. It is your personality, who you are as a person. It is how creative, courageous, civilized, conscientous and capable of common sense you are."
Güler Sabancı emphasized that to build one's personality was a lifelong endeavor. She said that her personality and view of life had evolved from the beginning of her career and the foundation of Sabancı University to date. She called one's discovery of oneself, seeing one's shortfalls, amending them, overcoming challenges, and growing mature a never-ending journey.
Sabancı said, "I advise all of you to build a character that is not limited to your resume, a personality that will lead to you being remembered as a 'good, worthy and conscientous' human."
“Let universal values light your path”
Sabancı advised students to set targets for themselves, make plans, and implement their plans, concluding "Do not let anyone drag your objectives downwards. Do not hesitate to ask for guidance or advice, but always make your decisions with self-confidence. Trust yourself, not others. When you meet difficulties -and you will-, let universal values such as human rights, equality and rule of law light your path."
“A key asset of developed societies is the strength of their research and development infrastructure, and the extensiveness of the contributions of such activities to the economy”
Speaking in the ceremony, Sabancı University President Yusuf Leblebici said that Sabancı University was the top Turkish institution in global university rankings among Turkish universities: “With the quality and uniqueness of our academic programs, as well as our research output that signifies our contribution to science, we are proud to be among the best of universities in Turkey. But ultimately, we will not settle with being Turkey's best university, our target is to become a research university that is recognized and admired worldwide."
Yusuf Leblebici added that Sabancı University was allocated 80 PhD scholarships in the Industrial PhD Programs implemented for the first time this year, leaving all other universities behind by a large margin.
Leblebici noted that scientific research was key to the future of many application areas that would never have been discovered any other way, continuing, "A key asset of developed societies is the strength of their research and development infrastructure, and the extensiveness of the contributions of such activities to the economy."
Also addressing the graduates, Yusuf Leblebici concluded, “Never lose your curiosity or self-confidence; never suppress the voice of your conscience; and never forget the humility that is the heritage of these lands."
Speaking in the ceremony were Sabancı University Founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees Güler Sabancı and President Yusuf Leblebici as well as Aysu Yurduşen on behalf of graduate students, Fatih Öztoprak on behalf of undergraduate students, and Sabancı University Alumni Association President Zeynep Bahar Çelik.
Fatih ÖztoprakZeynep Bahar Çelik
Commencement was followed by live music and dance shows by Ayhan Sicimoğlu. Sabancı University Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı joined the dance to share the excitement of graduation with the students.
Click to watch 2019 Commencement Ceremony.