Robert College II

Conferences and festivals
Fine Arts Festival (FAF)
Main article: Fine Arts Festival
Fine Arts Festival is the largest secondary school festival in Turkey. It has been held annually since 1982 by the Robert College Student Council. Each year, more than 2000 people attend the festival, which is traditionally held in May.[10]

International Istanbul Youth Forum (IYF)

The International Istanbul Youth Forum is an annually held conference at Robert College. It the first conference in Turkey that is recognized as a Regional EYP (European Youth Parliament) session. It was organized every year since 2006 with participants from numerous European countries. The conference is organized by the Robert College European Youth Club.

Ethics Forum

The Ethics Forum is the first to be established at high school level in Turkey. As the first Ethics Club in Turkey, Robert College Ethical Values Club organizes an ethics case study contest at national level among high school students, following their forum. The results are announced at the Ethics Conference near the end of the year. Both events attract more than twenty public and private schools from around Turkey.

International Model United Nations (RCIMUN)

RCIMUN will be held in April 11-14, 2007 for the first time in the history of Robert College and it will take place in the campus while the school will not be in session due to the spring vacation. This conference includes the Security Council of UN and ECOSOC. There will be about 200 students, of which about 20% will be coming from Greece. RCIMUN is planned to take place annually from this year on.

Istanbul Gençlik Forumu (IGF)

Istanbul Gençlik Forumu is a national conference where representatives from over 20 high schools from different regions come together to discuss issues regarding the future of Turkey. Discussion are held in Turkish and each committee is responsible for writing a resolution. The conference is held annualy and is organized by the Robert College European Youth Club.

Turkish Theater Festival (TIFES)

Organized by the Robert College Theater Club, TIFES is one of the major theatrical events at high school level in Turkey. The festival takes place in Robert College campus during the first week of June. Numerous plays are put on stage during the week in Suna Kiraç Hall and famous actors, actresses and playwrights give talks on topics related to theatrical arts.[13]


The 65 acre wooded campus overlooking Bosphorus on the European side of Istanbul is home to historic buildings as well as modern ones, centennial trees and a rich fauna, among which Bosphorus Beetle, an endemic species to this campus, could be counted.

Major buildings

Gould Hall: This building, the oldest educational building on the campus, is a gift from Helen Gould Shepard, daughter of the famous 19th century Wall Street financier Jay Gould. She donated US$150,000 for the construction, which began in 1911 and was completed in 1914. Today it houses classrooms, the main administrative offices, the library, Heritage Museum and cafeteria as well as Turkish Literature and Social Sciences Departments.

Robert College Gould Hall
Robert College Bingham HallWoods Hall: Completed in 1914, the building was a partial gift from Mrs. Henry Woods, of Boston, who donated US$58,000, with Helen Gould supplying the remaining US$25,000 required. It was used as a Science Building until 1990, and today is home to the English Prep classrooms and offices, as well as a cafeteria.

Mitchell Hall: Originally home to the school kitchens and dining room, it was a gift from Miss Olivia E. Phelps Stokes, who donated US$100,000. A modest woman, she asked for the building to be named in memory of her friend, Sarah Lindlay Mitchell. Today, the building houses classrooms, the Math Department, the Sait Halman Computer Center, the audio-visual center and a photography studio. The top floor is used for examinations and minor conferences.

Sage Hall: A gift from Mrs. Margaret Olivia Sage, widow of Russell Sage, a famous 19th century financier and associate of Jay Gould, Sage Hall is one of the few buildings used for its building purpose. A philanthropist, she donated US$100,000 for the building, built as a dormitory. Today, the building houses the girls' dormitories, infirmary and art studios.

Bingham Hall: Originally built as a medical school building, financed by William Bingham in memory of his mother, Mary Payne Bingham, the building housed the junior high school section, from 1925 to 1992. Today, it is home to the boys' dormitories, as well as business and administrative offices.

Feyyaz Berker Hall: Feyyaz Berker Hall, which today houses the science labs and classrooms, as well as the Science Department, was completed in 1990, and named after its largest donor,leading Turkish businessman and Robert College Trustee Feyyaz Berker (Robert College Eng '46 alumnus). The Biology Museum, which has one of the rarest collections in Turkey, has been reopened in the top floor of the building.

Suna Kiraç Hall: A state-of-the-art theater building completed in 1990, which includes a large stage, make-up rooms, modern sound and lighting system and seatings for 512 people, was named after its largest donor Suna Kiraç (American College for Girls '60 alumnus), a leading Turkish businesswoman and Robert College Trustee.

Nejat Eczacibasi Hall: The modern school gymnasium was opened in 1990 and named after its largest donor, prominent Turkish bio-chemist and businessman Dr. Nejat Eczacibasi (Robert College '32 alumnus).


When founded in 1863, Robert College had four students. A sum of $2,120 had been allocated to the library, and Harvard University had donated 200 volumes for the opening of the library. During the 50's and 60's, the college had one of the largest collections in Turkey. (In 1957: 111,598 books and 214 periodicals; the American College for Girls Library 27,163 books and 108 periodicals, according to the Turkiye Kutuphaneleri Rehberi (Guide to Libraries in Turkey) published by the Turkish National Library in that year.) After the foundation of Bogaziçi University, the college donated the majority of its collections to the newly-founded university. Today, Robert College has the largest library collection among secondary schools in Turkey. The library houses more than 47,300 books, 190 periodical publications, and two web-based databases. It occupies an area of 700 square meters with a seating capacity of 90, and serves a total of 927 students, as well as all the employees and alumni of the school on second and third floors of Gould Hall.

Child Study Center

Child Study Center on Robert College campus has 40 students aged between 3-6, four bilingual teachers, and a director. The center is a natural observation environment for students who are taking Psychology and Child Psychology classes. According to the college's website, "the educational program at the center is designed to develop self-confidence, self-esteem, self-competence, independence, initiative , creativity, empathy, problem solving and thinking skills in children."

Other buildings and facilities

Map of Robert CollegeThe Rodney B. Wagner Memorial Maze (The Legend of Maze) 
The White House (Bubble) 
Tennis courts 
Faculty housing (Yali and numerous houses dispersed on campus) 
Rose Garden 
Biology Pond 
The Bridge and the Security 
Yuva (Child Study Center) 
Note: This section only includes the buildings in today's Robert College campus (formerly the campus of American College for Girls); the ones in the former boys campus of Robert College could be found in Bogaziçi University article.[16]

Tuition and financial aid

Robert College tuition fees for the 2006-2007 academic year [17] are:

Day Student Boarder (5 days) Boarder (7 days)
TRY 21.982 TRY 31.220 TRY 35.170
US$ 15.882 US$ 22.557 US$ 25.411

The tuition fees are adjusted each year according to the inflation rates in a limited range set by the Ministry of Education. Robert College has been the most expensive private school in Turkey over the years. It is still the most expensive educational institution surpassing the private universities.[18] According to school data, 22% of the students receive financial aid and the allocated funds for financial aid amount to US$ 3.1 million for 2006-2007 academic year.[19]

Notable alumni

For more information, see the article about List of notable Robert College alumni. Since the time of the Ottoman Empire, many graduates of Robert College have taken initiative in various fields, from arts to government. Among the alumni are the first Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the United States in Washington, D.C. (Münir Ertegün), the first TV director in Turkey, the first Minister of Culture (Talat Sait Halman)[20] as well as two Turkish Prime Ministers (Bülent Ecevit, Tansu Çiller) and five Bulgarian Prime Ministers. For more information, the List of notable Robert College alumni can be referred. In 1990, the graduates, Nejat Eczacibasi, Suna Kiraç and Feyyaz Berker have donated the necessary funds for the construction of the new buildings that are mentioned in Buildings section.

As the costs of the school cannot be met by the tuition fees, the Alumni Association organizes the Annual Giving Campaign to cover the costs of the school. Bizimtepe, a cultural and recreational center next to the school campus, is an affiliate of Alumni Association and was founded to raise funds for the school. Alumni Association publishes RC Quarterly, the alumni magazine, which reaches 8000[21] Robert College alumni around the world by mail.

Notable faculty (former and current) Cahit Arf, Mathematician Mihri Pektas, Among the first female members of Turkish Parliament, alumna of American College of Girls Tevfik Fikret, Poet, author John Freely, Professor of Physics, author Mebrure Gönenç, Among the first female members of Turkish Parliament, alumna of American College of Girls Necip Fazil Kisakürek, Poet, author Paul Lange, Conductor of Ottoman Empire's Royal Orchestra, musician, father of US conductor Hans Lange Friedrich Schrader, German journalist, author Karl von Terzaghi, Austrian civil engineer, see Soil mechanics

References and notes

  • Robert College accepts equal number of female and male students, who have scored within the 2% of National Examination to Private High Schools
  • Türkiye Geneli En iyi Özel Okullar Taban Puani (Best Private High Schools Nationwide, Threshold Scores). Retrieved on 24 Mar 2007.
  • According to Turkish education system, Robert College is a private school. Turkish education system divides schools into two: public or private.
  • This title is also claimed by the American College of Sofia, founded in 1860.
  • a b c Story of Robert College. Retrieved on 24 Mar 2007.
  • Chronology of Events. Retrieved on 8 Feb 2007.
  • Kayit Kabul. Retrieved on 01 April 2007.
  • RC'06 University Results. Retrieved on 23 Mar 2007.
  • Chronology of Events. Retrieved on 8 Feb 2007.
  • Fine Arts Festival-Güzel Sanatlar Festivali. Retrieved on 8 Feb 2007.
  • RC Ethical Values Club. Retrieved on 23 Mar 2007.
  • Robert College International Model United Nations. Retrieved on 23 Mar 2007.
  • TIFES IV. Retrieved on 23 Mar 2007.
  • About Robert College Library. Retrieved on 6 Feb 2007.
  • Robert College. Retrieved on 11 Jan 2007.
  • Robert College, 1863-1971; Bosphorus University, 1971-Present. Retrieved on 6 Feb 2007.
  • Okul Ücreti (Tuition) (2006). Retrieved on 24 March 2007.
  • Milliyet (National Daily Milliyet's Online version) (2006). Retrieved on 24 March 2007.
  • FAQ About Annual Giving (2006). Retrieved on 25 March 2007.
  • History of Robert College (Excerpt from Celebrating the Past 1863, Building the Future 1988) (2006). Retrieved on 6 Feb 2007.
  • RC Quarterly. Retrieved on 14 Feb 2007.

Books on Robert College

  • Ali Neyzi, Alma Mater and the Story of Robert College
  • Asya Orhon, Kolejlerin Koleji, Robert Kolej
  • Betty Tank, Pushing My Shadow
  • Caleb Frank Gates, Not To Me Only, Princeton, 1940.
  • Cyrus Hamlin, My Life and Times, Boston, 1893.
  • Cyrus Hamlin, Among the Turks
  • Eren Yanik, Akvaryum
  • George Washburn, Fifty Years in Constantinople and Recollections of Robert College, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1909.
  • Hester Donaldson Jenkins, An Educational Ambassador to the Middle East
  • John Freely, History of Robert College, Istanbul, YKY, 2000.
  • Lynn Scipio, My Thirty Years in Turkey, New Hampshire, Ringde, 1955.
  • Mary Mills Patrick, A Bosphorus Adventure, London, 1934.
  • Mary Mills Patrick, Under Five Sultans
  • May Fincanci, The Story of Robert College Old and New
  • Moris Farhi, Young Turk
  • Orhan Türker, Mega Revma'dan Arnavutköy'e, Istanbul, 2005
  • Stevens Marcia&Malcolm, Against the Devil's Current: Life & Times of C.H.
  • Talat S. Halman, Aklin Yolu Bindir, Istanbul, 2003.
  • Ugur Ersoy, 1950-55 Erguvan Renkli Yillar, Istanbul, 2004.

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