The farewell ceremony for Founding President Tosun Terzioğlu at Sabancı University was attended by Sabancı University Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı, President Nihat Berker, the Sabancı community of faculty members, students, administrative employees and alumni as well as members of the Terzioğlu family and academics from various institutions and universities.
Sabancı University students and alumni held a vigil at the head of our Founding President's casket throughout the ceremony. Master of ceremonies were Sabancı graduates and faculty members Özge Akbulut and Kaan Kurşungöz.
Speaking after the minute silence was Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı, who said, "Professor Terzioğlu left us much to be remembered with his profound and nuanced intellect and knowledge. He was a dedicated volunteer of education, a great scientist and administrator. He was a successful individual who was in full recognition of his friendships. We will always remember him." Sabancı continued, "Tosun Bey was the founding president of our university for 12 years, during which he made unforgettable contributions to shape us into a global university that makes a difference in Turkish higher education, leading us to a better future. He showed us the path every step of the way. He led the adoption of academic freedom principles in our very first Board of Trustees meeting. He was persistent, insistent even, on issues related to a university free of departments, an interdisciplinary university, common university courses, the importance of foundations development, and about 'descending from the ivory tower into the society'."
Speaking next, President Nihat Berker said, “Tosun Terzioğlu was a brilliant scientist and a great human being who befriended us all and touched the lives of thousands of people and institutions. He was truly a man of the world who spoke the truth in any institution and among any company, emanating an easygoing attitude that permeated everyone around him. As a man who had also occupied very important positions, spoke to influential people and made vital decisions, Tosun Terzioğlu was an embodiment of silent power. He was not bombastic or loud, but he made himself heard. He usually got what he wanted because he wanted the right things."
Other speakers in the ceremony were Emeritus Professor Üstün Ergüder, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Founding Dean and Emeritus Professor Kemal İnan, faculty members Albert Erkip, Aydın Aytuna, Alev Topuzoğlu, Ali Alpar, and Emeritus Professor Halil Berktay, who shared what Tosun Bey meant for them. Zeynep Bahar Çelik, one of our first graduates and the current President of the Sabancı University Alumni Association spoke about Tosun Bey before leaving the podium to the final speaker of the ceremony, Tosun Terzioğlu's daughter Derin Terzioğlu.
Derin Terzioğlu began by thanking everyone who stood by her father during his illness, continuing, "As you all know, my father was not a talkative person. When he did speak, he rarely gave his feelings away. But he held Sabancı University and its students in a special regard. I must admit that I was sometimes offended by this. But I think what defined my father's character were his refusal to adjust to the expectations of others and his commitment to his opinions and attitude. It fills my heart with joy to see that such a unique man had so many friends."
After Derin Terzioğlu’s speech, the ceremony concluded with Founding President Tosun Terzioğlu's casket being carried by members of the Sabancı University family from the packed Sabancı University Performing Arts Center to the hearse that would take him to the Bebek Mosque for the funeral.