Citing his belief in public education and the importance of attending college, Sarasota resident Akgun Temizer has given $1.2 million to New College of Florida to expand a scholarship fund.
Temizer established the fund in 2014 to provide scholarships with preference to honors students from his native country, Turkey. The first Temizer Scholar came to New College in fall 2015. His new gift essentially doubles the size of the scholarship fund and will allow the College to have two Temizer Scholars beginning in Fall 2018.
“Education is my priority,” Temizer said. “I was fortunate to have received a great education from elementary school through university in my home country of Turkey. I want to give back and make education possible for others.”
MaryAnne Young, vice president of advancement and executive director of the New College Foundation, announced the gift at the Foundation’s Clambake event, with Temizer and many of his friends in attendance.
“We are so grateful to Mr. Temizer for establishing a second scholarship for students from his home country,” Young said. “We’ve had several conversations about the value of education. He sees first-hand the impact his scholarship has had and is so gratified that he’s had a part in changing this student’s life. We are indebted to Mr. Temizer for believing in education and making a second scholarship to New College.”
Temizer came to America as an employee of Turkey’s State Department, after serving in the country’s military. He then joined a Washington, D.C.-area construction company, working his way up from entry level to a supervisory position. He became a U.S. citizen in 1969, and then worked for the International Monetary Fund for many years.
Temizer retired to Sarasota in 1987, where he learned of New College’s success as a public liberal arts college that achieves consistently high placement in national rankings. He knows the advantages that education provides.
“I believe supporting education is the best investment for the future,” he said. “New College has made my dream come true.”