Sener Ozsahin, the first Turkish citizen to earn an undergraduate degree from Princeton, died in Ankara, Turkey, on October 7, 2017.


A native of Turkey, Sener attended Ankara College, where he was a leader of the Literature & Arts Society, a singer, and an actor. Conversations with his English teacher, Carl Tobey ’40, led him to apply for admission to Princeton.

Sener majored in economics and wrote his thesis on tobacco production in Turkey. He was a member of the Woodrow Wilson Society. Senior year he roomed with Wheeler Thackston, Aybars Gurpinar, and Bruce Chang in 1937 Hall.

Sener had a successful career at Turkey’s first privately-owned pension fund, OYAK, and with major holding companies in Turkey. As founder and first president of the Alumni Association of Princeton University in Turkey, he played a major role in organizing alumni activities and promoting Princeton in Turkey.

He leaves a son, Selim, to whom the Class extends its condolences.

More About Sener's Career and Time at Princeton

Sener's son, Selim Ozsahin reports that the funeral was held October 8 at Ankara's Kocatepe Mosque.

A June 29, 2016 Turkish American Television interview (click here for the full article) introduces Sener as follows:

"Sener Ozsahin’s decision to study at Princeton University was shaped by his close dialog with Mr. Carl Tobey, his first English teacher in Turkey and a graduate of Princeton University (Class of ’40). Pursuing his education as the first Turkish citizen to earn a Princeton undergraduate degree, he studied economics and his roots in this field come from Prof. W. Arthur Lewis, Prof. Frederic Harbison, Prof. Mancur Olson and Prof. William J. Baumol. Obtaining his degree in Economics in 1966, he conducted a successful professional career at OYAK (Turkey’s first and privately-owned pension fund) and some leading holdings, such as Sabanci and Ekinciler in Turkey, and played an important role in organizing and promoting activities and dialogues among the graduates of Princeton in his native country, as the founder and the first president of the Alumni Association of Princeton University in Turkey."


The two 1963 photos were taken in front of Nassau Hall and the White House.



The following photos were taken from Sener's Facebook page.