Founded in 1914, Boğaziçi University Engineering Society (ENSO) is Turkey’s oldest and most established student career club with 109 years of history. ENSO, which brings together hundreds of students from various departments and leading companies from different sectors on common ground, continues to make a difference in its field with its motto “Think Big!”.
In 1863, Robert College was founded in Bebek by Christopher Robert, a wealthy American and a philanthropist, and Cyrus Hamlin, a missionary devoted to education. Six years after its foundation, with the permission of the Ottoman Sultan, the first campus was built in Bebek. The first building of the school was named “Hamlin Hall” in memory of Cyrus Hamlin. Few years after the foundation of Robert College, in 1878, Christopher Robert died. After Hamlin, Robert College was administrated by George Washburn and Caleb Gates. Though founded at the time of the Ottoman Empire as an institution of higher learning serving the Christian minorities of the Empire as well as foreigners living in Istanbul, the school adopted a strictly secular educational model in accordance with the republican principles of Turkey in 1923. Robert College, in the past had junior high school, high school, and university sections under the names “Robert Academy, Robert Yüksek and American College for Girls.” Since 1971, the school has functioned only as a “high school” on its Arnavutköy campus (formerly the campus of American College for Girls), yet it retains the title of College.
The Bebek campus and academic staff were turned over to the Republic of Turkey for use as Boğaziçi University, the renamed continuation of Robert College’s university section, as a public university.
Knowing that information, it can be stated that Engineering Society is firstly founded in 1914 as the Engineering Society of Robert College. Robert College started to give engineering education in 1912 and after two years of the foundation of the engineering faculty; the students club for the engineering students which is named as “Engineering Society” is founded. The main purpose of the club was to raise social engineers which have the ability to achieve things rather than just studying and doing well in the classes. Having that purpose, the Engineering Society organized lots of different events such as Engineering Days, Engineering Banquets, Symposiums about Kemalism, and Ataturk which hosted the significant authors of the era such as Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu. Moreover, Engineering Society was organizing chatting sessions and awarding ceremonies for the successful industrialists and businessmen of that period.
After Robert College started to function as a high school and Bogazici University was founded, all of the student clubs were closed. Later on, departmental engineering clubs were founded such as the students club of mechanical engineers and industrial engineers. In the year of 1989, an extensive historical background search was made and the information about Engineering Society (ENSO) was found by Hakan Zihnioglu and his friends. Thereby, they decided to re-open ENSO and wanted to maintain the culture constituted in 1914. Since 1989, ENSO pursues its activities in order to raise “social students” with the motto of “Think Big!”
As the oldest student club in Turkey, ENSO always tries to lead and guide the other student clubs with the international and national activities it is organizing. You can find more information about ENSO here.