Koç University News & Announcements Bulletin

September 2017


Dear Members of the Koç University Community,

As September comes to a close, we not only welcome the beautiful manifestations of the fall season in İstanbul and at our campus with its wonderful colors, but also welcome and embrace more than 1000 new undergraduates, hundreds of new MA/MS/PhD students and tens of new faculty and staff joining our Koç University community this semester.

Our new undergraduates were placed as a result of their very high rankings in the national exam, 95% of them being ranked higher than 100,000th among nearly 2.2 million exam takers. Our new faculty members were recruited through worldwide searches, each being chosen via a highly competitive process from among typically tens of applicants. Our new MA/MS/PhD students were also selected from among many applicants with the highest criteria of excellence. How lucky and blessed we are to have the opportunity to work with such a bright cadre of students and faculty!

After an exciting Orientation Week, the school year started at full force on September 18th with several of us in the university administration paying our respects to our founder, the late Mr. Vehbi Koç, by visiting his gravesite. Every year as we do so, I feel intense admiration and appreciation and I am overwhelmed with a great sense of responsibility of the amazing gift that he has bestowed upon our nation in founding our University, which his Family and Foundation continue to support so very generously. We must always remember our solemn duty to pursue excellence in education and scientific research, as our institution is truly unique and above all, serves and exists as a beacon of hope for our country, as an example for others to follow.

Here are a few thoughts reflecting upon my meeting with the new undergraduate Class of 2021, which I shared with them in my welcoming address:

Our most basic premise is that people produce the best and the most when they are the freest. We thus have to strive to hire the best faculty, recruit the best students and then create/maintain the freest environment in which they can be the most productive, creative and successful. In this context, it is important that we do not limit ourselves by our preconceived rights/wrongs, and unnecessary central rules/regulations and simply let great things happen by ‘getting out of the way’. We want our students and faculty members to strive to find and pursue what feels right for them, to embark on their journey without fear, as the only way to find your true self is to listen to your inner voice.

We see university education as a rendezvous, or an appointment if you will, between generations. My colleagues and I work hard to make this appointment as exciting, informative, fulfilling and productive as possible for our students. We strive to learn/teach together with our students so that we can maximize the dialogue among the generations in this ‘appointment’ of ours, for the benefit of both generations.

The transition from ages 18 to 22 for our undergraduates is key to self-discovery and sets the foundation of who they are going to be, how they will setup their lives; it is the period of life where one begins to realize one’s likes, dislikes and compromises.

Therefore, I ask all our students, not just the new ones, to use their time at Koç University wisely. Do not merely dwell in your studies but explore the many social activities, engage in clubs, be a part of groups, meet your fellow students, learn from them while you give them back what you know as well.

On a related note, I was recently pleased to find out that, in the 2016-17 Academic Year, our university ranked 7th in the national medal count across all sports branches, in spite of the fact that we are one of the smallest institutions in the country. This achievement underscores the importance attached to sports on the part of all of our students who have served as members of our many teams and I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude. I would urge all our students to get involved in the many sports offered at our school.

Being a Koç University student also puts upon a great responsibility on your shoulders. In order for us to improve our great school, we first need your feedback and then we need your participation, so together we can make this institution the best that it can be. Give us feedback, write to us, email us, complain or praise but always share your thoughts.

I know graduation for many of you still looms sometime far away in the future, but as cliché as it sounds, time passes by fast. So always be reminded that each day you spend here, you may leave behind your own mark. Our connection with you essentially continues forever. So long as Koç University exists, we shall be a part of your lives, and you shall be a part of ours. We cherish and treasure all our students and alumni.

As a well-tested way to capture the special bond between us, this year we initiated a new tradition that embraces all of our alumni, past, present and future. After substantial consideration of their design, layout and placement, commemorative ‘Time Capsules’ have been prepared for each graduating class and placed on the concrete ledge surrounding the ‘College Green’ grass area, thus establishing the ‘alumni pathway’, now extending from the bottom of the Administration building to the Henry Ford buildings. During our alumni homecoming event on September 10th, members of each class got together and placed mementos reminiscent of their time at Koç University inside the Time Capsules. All of the objects, including floppy disks, pajamas, photos, messages for future and all kinds of other memorabilia, are to be photographed and exhibited on the project web page. Time capsules will then be capped with specially designed covers on our 24th anniversary, October 4th, 2017, so that mementos of our alumni may forever live on our campus. While walking on the alumni pathway, we want all our students to feel the union of the past and future, and to look forward to the day when they finally would graduate and become a part of this tradition.

May this Academic Year be full of health, happiness and success for all of you...

My best wishes and regards to you all,

Umran Inan

/umransavasinan   /profumraninan


Time Capsule

Pajamas, news clippings, IDs, old commencement photos, notes to the future; items which will forever live on our campus. Alumni came together on Homecoming '17 and placed many items of memorabilia which reminded them of their time at Koç University in "Time Capsules", placed for each alumni class on the "alumni path".

Homecoming '17

We welcomed back our alumni on September 10, 2017 with a day of festivities. Alumni, their families and friends gathered on campus for fun, reunion and to start a new tradition: Time Capsules.


We welcomed our new students and introduced them to our campus during Orientation Week, where they all had the chance to learn about the extraordinary academic and extra-curricular opportunities at our University. We wish all our students the best in the new academic year...

KUSIF Conference

Koç University Social Impact Forum hosted “Social Impact and Social Finance Conference” on September 22, 2017 to create a space for organizations supporting social enterprises and to engage with relevant stakeholders.

The event gathered groups working on social impact as well as experts and professionals from finance and social finance sectors.