Topics: Alumni, Scholarships

November 18, 2011

In honor of A. Umit Taftali, one of Ball State University's most noted alumni, J. Richard Emens and Beatrice Emens Wolper have contributed $25,000 to create a scholarship recognizing Taftali's dedicated commitment to the university and the Ball State University Foundation.
The Emens Scholarship program recognizes outstanding incoming freshmen who have participated in, and provided leadership for, academic and extracurricular activities within their high schools and local communities. Preference for this particular scholarship will be given to a student pursuing a major in finance. If none of the students selected are pursuing a finance major, the fund may support any of the Emens Scholarship recipients.
Taftali, a native of Turkey, earned his bachelor's degree in finance from Ball State in 1985 and his master of business administration degree in 1987 from the University of South Carolina. As executive director and country head of Goldman Sachs International, Taftali built and managed the firm's business in Turkey. Between 1999 and 2001, he was a founding partner of Cesmig & Taftali, a private equity investment partnership in London. In 2001, he joined Koc Holding and founded the Suna Kirac (Koc) Family Office in Istanbul.
Despite the geographic distance, Taftali remains one of Ball State's most connected alumni. He is a member of the Ball State University Foundation Board of Directors where he shared his expertise and spent a significant amount of time and effort chairing the investment committee. Named an honorary citizen of Muncie, he received the Miller College of Business' Award for International Distinction in 1999.
Taftali has established his own endowed scholarships and has served as an executive-in-residence. In 2010, Taftali provided the lead gift for the construction of the A. Umit Taftali Center for Capital Markets and Investing. The center allows business students an opportunity for hands-on training in the workings of financial markets, financial modeling, and valuation. It also allows student to gain familiarity with relevant technology, applications, and functionality.
For more information about this scholarship and others available at Ball State, contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at 765-285-5600 or visit

By Mallory Sturgeon