Temple Times Online Edition
    MARCH 30, 2006
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Inaugural Leadership Summit a success

Photos by David Debalko
Volunteer leaders representing every board and council at Temple gathered for the Leadership Summit’s plenary session at the Great Court in Mitten Hall.

Hundreds of alumni and friends returned to Temple last weekend for the first-ever Leadership Summit.

Volunteer leaders representing each of Temple’s boards and councils — some of which were conducting their inaugural meetings — participated in events throughout the city.

Saturday’s plenary session was capped by a presentation from philanthropy expert Naomi Levine, who compared Temple’s ascent to that of New York University, for whom she served as senior vice president for external affairs.

“For the last two days, you’ve heard about [Temple’s] dreams, ” Levine said. “Temple has all the potential to be a truly great university, and I have no doubt with a push here and there, you will do it.”

For many of the assembled volunteers, a number of whom hadn’t actively participated as alumni since graduating, the highlight of the summit was meeting other like-minded leaders.

The Temple University Press Advisory Council conducted its inaugural meeting at Rembrandt’s in the Fairmount Section of Philadelphia’s Art Museum neighborhood on Friday.

Joseph S. Vassalluzzo, a 1976 business school graduate, appreciated the way the University is fostering “engagement and interaction.”

“I didn’t really experience that sense of community before,” said Vassalluzzo, a former vice chairman of Staples.

Fellow President’s Advisory Board member Gerald Yakatan, founder of the San Diego-based pharmaceutical development firm IriSys, agreed.

“It’s important to develop that sense of a shared experience,” Yakatan said. “Every Temple alumnus who gets involved can help cultivate that.”

- Hillel J. Hoffmann