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Volume 7, Number 17
19 February 2001

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Message From Dean Zeynep Köksal
"As I bid farewell to the Bilkent community, of which I have been a part for a long time, I would like to share some thoughts with you. By leaving, I wish to create opportunities to refresh both myself and the institution. I think it is the right time to do this while I still have the strength and energy to pass on my accumulation of knowledge to other fields and people, and also to create openings for new names, ideas and views within the institution.

I have been a student of the School of İhsan Doğramacı for 21 years, beginning with the Turkish and International Children's Health Center, to the foundation of Bilkent University and to the present. I continuously learned during this period. The School taught me among many things to: strive for excellence and not take 'no' for an answer; minimize red tape; not offend people; trust team members; maintain a sense of humor under all circumstances and reward initiative. Within these guidelines, I and the other founding members of the University strove to create a peaceful learning environment equipped with the latest technologies and systems, high quality resources and high calibre academic staff for students at Bilkent. We aimed to encourage the concept of self-governance and the development of a questioning mind, both novelties at the time. During my term as Secretary General of the University (1985-87), Member of the Board of Trustees (1987-89), Director of the School of English Language (1989-95) and Dean of Students (1995-2001), I had these objectives in mind. I hope I have been able to practice these teachings and provide for your needs. It is now time for me to graduate.

If I were asked to say a few words while leaving, I would say:

Students should be courageous and participatory, give importance to listening, have a positive attitude, make their demands and follow them up.

They should establish their values in life and not refrain from fighting for them. It is important to be at peace with oneself, to be aware of oneself, to know one's strengths and weaknesses and to accept and love oneself with these qualities.

I want students to have an environmental awareness and advise them to make the most of Bilkent University resources and opportunities.

I ask my colleagues not to give up listening to students, to trust them and show tolerance and understanding however trying the circumstances may be.

I thank everyone for making my 21 years a very rewarding experience."

Zeynep Köksal

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