MSU alumnus Tarkan Maner to deliver commencement address

MSU alumnus Tarkan Maner to deliver commencement address

One of Midwestern State University's Distinguished Alumni will return to Wichita Falls to speak to the approximately 760 candidates for graduation at the university's commencement ceremony. Tarkan Maner, a 1993 MSU graduate, will deliver the commencement address during the 10 a.m. ceremony Saturday, May 11, at Kay Yeager Coliseum.

Before receiving his MBA from MSU, Maner received his bachelor's degree in Engineering Management from Istanbul Technical University in his native Turkey. He came to America in 1991 with $200 cash and without speaking English. Assistant Professor of English Sue Henson was the Director of the Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) when Maner came to MSU. The IELI provides English language instruction and support to non-native speakers of English. "We had a big, diverse group then, and had lively activities and field trips. Tarkan was always so engaging as part of that group. He worked hard to learn and was always encouraging to others," Henson said. "He was as new as anyone else in the group to the country but would soak up all he could. He was a standout even then."

After his graduation from MSU, Maner studied at the invitation-only Executive Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Today Maner is the executive chairman, CEO, and one of the leading investors at Nexenta, a global leader in open source-driven software defined storage. Prior to Nexenta, he held executive roles at Dell, Wyse, CA, IBM, Quest, Sterling Commerce, and Sterling Software. He is the founding chairman of TechAmerica's cloud computing commission.

In 2011, Maner was named the Dillard College of Business Administration's Distinguished Alumnus. He is a 2012 winner of the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Program and the recipient of the TechAmerica Community Service Innovator Award. He is a frequent speaker, commentator, and author on current business, economic, and social issues in media and academic circles.

In addition to his professional duties, Maner serves or has served on the boards of the Bay Area Council, World Economic Forum's Cyber-Security Alliance, and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Maner also has worked with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a coalition of senior executives who work to improve the quality of life for citizens of the region and the world through its advocacy around public and private policy issues. Maner also leads and advises fundraising for several global not-for-profit organizations and programs around economic development, poverty elimination, entrepreneurship, education, and social justice.