Alumni Day

Yesterday was graduation at Middle East Technical University (METU). As part of the celebration, Alumni Day was held on Saturday. I attended with my husband who is currently teaching at METU as well as a graduate, class of 1999.
  
 
METU is a state university founded in 1956. METU’s presence brought about new methods and introduced innovations to Turkish higher education system manifesting METU as a pioneer of modern education nationwide. Today, there are a total of 40 undergraduate programs in five faculties of METU.  There are also 159 graduate programs available.

The METU Campus is located on the Ankara-Eskişehir highway and has been forested entirely through the efforts of the University employees and students since the early 1960’s. It’s a very large and beautiful campus, with over 16 square miles of land.

Department of Engineering Sciences

The Campus includes Lake Eymir. The lake and its surroundings meet part of the rowing, fishing and picnicking needs of the METU employees and students. The surroundings of Lake Eymir have also been forested through the efforts of the University employees and students. The fresh water for METU is being supplied from the deep wells around Lake Eymir. The Lake area is also open to the public, however, only those immediately associated with METU may drive into the park area. Several restaurants have been built on the lake attracting the public at large.

 

Lake Eymir

Outdoor Dining at Lake Eymir

 The Alumni who came for the event gathered at their respective faculty buildings. My husband and I went to the Department of Environmental Engineering. It was lovely. We gathered behind the building in a large courtyard area where refreshments were served. 

 

Gathering at the Department of Environmental Engineering

Old Friends Meet and Greet

A small band played tunes in English. Now, I am not one for American tunes sung with thick foreign accents – but these guys were good. They belted out Bob Marley and Bob Dylan songs as well as anyone can! OK – so Mr. Marley was Jamaican. But still . . .

 

 

"Like a Rolling Stone"

Next came something I had never seen in the US. Alumni were given medals in memory of their graduation – for 10 years, 20 years, and so one. It was pretty cool. Each medal had the alum’s name embossed. On the back was a picture of the METU emblem, a red and white half circle and crescent shapes representing the same crescents found in most of the Middle Eastern countries’ flags.  The intersected circles represent the bond between the eastern and western civilizations. 

 

Sibel received a 20 year medal - hard to believe so much time has passed!

As our gathering came to a close, we rushed over to the Civil Engineering Department to watch a friend receive his medal. Oddly enough, my husband did not know him from METU, although they were a year apart graduating from the school. They met in Philadelphia at Drexel University while working on their graduate degrees. Our friend’s wife met us there after being awarded her own 10-year medal. The award ceremony for this faculty was held inside a large classroom. No worries though, refreshments were outside! 

 

Our Philadelphia Friends: Selin, Toprak, and Kutay

Later, we took a long walk, enjoying the campus, the sunshine, and the friendship. We stopped in a wooded area outside of one of the cafes on campus to have lunch and make new friends, and then continued on our stroll. 

 

Our new friend, Deniz

METU’s campus is definitely one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. Drexel students often covet UPenn’s campus. METU surpasses UPenn by far in natural beauty. 

Cultural and Convention Center

One of the Cafeterias

 Congratulations to the Alumni and Graduates of METU!

 

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