Page 12 - Alumni Newsletter Winter 2012-2013

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We’re back. Back on the campus which
was lovingly built for IC students. Back
in the buildings that were especially
designed for IC students.
We were back. It took 78 years but IC
students, at least ten of them, had re-
turned home.
And those first few steps were like no
other. Little had apparently changed in
the lush green campus.The majestic Ma-
cLachlan Hall, named after IC’s founder
Reverend Alexander MacLachlan was
there.The gymnasium – once the biggest
in Turkey – was still there as were the
theatre and the buildings.
“I have goosebumps,” whispered IC
president, John Johnson – the 12th
IC president since MacLachlan- as he
stepped off the bus and looked around.
“This is incredible.”
He wasn’t the only one.
“This is amazing,” said music director,
Randa Sabbah who along with IC News-
letter writer Reem Haddad, had accom-
panied the middle school students on the
historical trip.
Once, students were running back and
forth to classes and activities filling the
campus with youthful laughter.
Today, however, army personnel march
along meticulously kept pathways. It is
the Headquarters of Allied Air Com-
mand, Izmir.
Having received permission, IC and its
host, ACI, along with other American
Board schools (see previous page) were
granted special access.
Inside the buildings, the history of the
International College in Smyrna was
conscientiously displayed at the entrance.
The history of the school was obviously
a matter of pride for the Air Command
Headquarters – and rather flattered the
egos of the IC group.
The students posed on the front steps
of the famous MacLachlan Hall for a
picture. Unbeknown to them, they had
just followed in the footsteps of many
previous IC students who had stood on
the very same spot to have their own
class pictures taken.The ten students had
become the center of attention and even
more so when they climbed on to the
stage and sang IC’s Alma Mater. It was
the same theatrical stage that witnessed
choirs, lectures, performances and prayers.
It’s been 78 long years since voices of
youth were heard resonating in the halls.
The group looked on in awed silence. Not
all eyes were dry.
Once upon a time, the 20-acre campus
was one of a kind: large classrooms and
dormitories, a 75 foot clock tower, a large
assembly hall, chapel and library building
seating 1200 with student club rooms, a
spacious gymnasium (the largest in Tur-
key), an indoor running track, rooms for
gymnastics and wrestling, showers, car-
pentry, printing, electrical and mechanical
workshops, an electric power and heating
plant, activity rooms, the president’s house
and faculty apartments.
It was everything a modern school could
be: providing the best available textbooks,
scientific laboratory equipment and top
local, American and European teach-
ers. IC would quickly become one of the
leading institutions in the country and
produce capable English-speaking lead-
ers (a rarity back then) including Adnan
Menderes, who ended up becoming
Turkey’s prime minister in 1950.
The reputation of the school reached
far and wide and boys all the way from
Greece and Macedonia would arrive at
IC and take up residence in the schools’
boarding facilities. An avid piano player,
MacLachlan’s daughter, Rosalind, would
give concert recitals every Sunday
afternoon. It is said that she could make
a full concerto after listening to a short
whistled tune.
According to Ayshi Mayda, the old-
est graduate still alive of the all-girls
school, the American Collegiate Institute
(ACI) - IC’s sister school back then -
the concerts were breathtaking. At 96,
Mayda’s memory is remarkably clear.
She distinctly remembers violins playing
as well and students participating.The
two schools would often get together for
various events. In this case, the girls were
invited to IC to listen to the concerts and
warned to be quiet during performances.
“I had never been to a concert before,” she
said. “And I remembered to be very quiet
as told.”
She vividly remembered the shutting
down of the school in 1934. “Oh, it was
sad,” she said. “Very sad.”
The tour ended rather quickly and the
group was escorted to the outskirts of the
campus. Once again, the gate was closed –
an echo of the past.
IC became an army base again: a campus
dotted with army personnel marching
along with only an inkling of the school’s
rich history.
We’re back!
First students
to return to IC, Turkey:
Maya Kawas
Sara Ghandour
Aya Fathallah
Ali Zreik
Basel Hussein
Rasha Akel
Tony Asfour
Nicholas Salloum
Christopher Raffoul
Reem Katrib