Ball State celebrates dedication of A. Umit Taftali Center

Members from the Ball State University Foundation Board, faculty and students gathered in and outside the new A. Umit Taftali Center for Capital Markets and Investing at the Whitinger Business Building for a dedication ceremony Thursday.

President Jo Ann Gora and the Board of Trustees were at the dedication, which included a ribbon cutting, a ringing of the closing bells and refreshments.

"The Taftali Center encompasses just 1300 square feet. I'm convinced, however, that the impact of this space will be enormous," Gora said. "Take for instance its use of technology. We are surrounded here by computer stations, large screen TVs and iconic message boards, carrying stock market prices."

Gora talked about A. Umit Taftali, who works as an investment manager for an industrial group in Turkey.

"Despite the geographical distance from his alma mater, Umit has remained one of Ball State's most connected alumni," she said.

Taftali, who attended the dedication, has been serving as director of the foundation board for 11 years and will be completing his last term in 2011.

"With my contributions I've made over the years, I believe I've paid my financial debt, but my gratitude to Ball State, I will never be able to do that," he said.

Gora said she was pleased to see the number of people that turned out for the event.

"You know, I think it's so wonderful that you are all here today filling these seats, but I think it is even more wonderful to see all these students outside," she said.

Jim Lowe, director of engineering, planning and management, oversaw the construction on the center, but it was a staff architect who designed the interior.

"Every time I walk through those doors and you see what's going on," Lowe said, "that's real world. That's what's going on around us every day, every minute of the day. I think students have [a] really nice opportunity here."


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