Fowlkes hired to lead General Alumni Association
Intent on “reconnecting alumni to an institution that had a major impact on their lives,” Deborah Fowlkes recently joined Temple University as assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the General Alumni Association. Fowlkes’ appointment was effective July 1.
Fowlkes replaces John MacDonald, who retired last summer after a 40-year career with Temple.
“Both the University and the General Alumni Association are thrilled to welcome Deborah to the Temple family,” said Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs Stuart Sullivan. “Her vast knowledge and experience of alumni relations will build lasting relationships between Temple and its alumni.”
Fowlkes brings to Temple an accomplished record with her previous employer, Duke University, where she most recently served as director of alumni education and travel and founded Duke’s alumni continuing education program. A Duke alumna, Fowlkes began her higher education career there in 1986 with the office of undergraduate admissions.
“It’s an exciting time to come to Temple,” Fowlkes said. “When I first visited here in January, even though it was wintertime, the amount of energy on campus was amazing. People here seem willing to try new things and create new programs, and that’s a reflection of the growth that’s occurring across campus — the new buildings, new faculty, new plans and a lively, engaging student body.”
In her dual roles, Fowlkes describes her primary responsibility as “creating ways to keep Temple’s 240,000 alumni connected to the University.” She intends to draw from her experience directing alumni education programs at Duke to similarly unite Temple graduates.
Fowlkes envisions Temple alumni, half of whom live in the tri-state area, gathering frequently on campus for seminars, lecture series or community service opportunities. Additionally, she plans to expand the popular “Temple on the Road” series that brings current administrators and faculty members to alumni audiences around the country for programs and discussions.
Ultimately, Fowlkes said, the pleasure of reuniting college graduates with their alma mater lured her into a career in alumni relations. That satisfaction, coupled with her philosophy that universities should remain an engine for one’s academic and social growth long after graduation, shapes Fowlkes’ plans for Temple alumni.
“We have Temple graduates all over the place,” she said. “They came to Temple to learn, and that shouldn’t end when they leave. As an alumni affairs office, we should be one of the sources of that continuation of personal and academic growth.”
- By Ted Boscia