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    September 7, 2006
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William Orr leaves Budget Office
after 30 years at Temple

After more than 30 years in Temple’s Budget Office, William Orr is leaving to begin a life filled with family, fun, and a view of the Poconos.

William Orr hadn’t intended to be a member of Temple University’s Office of Management and Budget this long.

When he heard about a job opening in the Controller’s Office from a friend who taught Sunday school in his church, Orr decided to take a shot at it. But because he had traveled the job market a few times, he thought that Temple would be just another stop, and he’d take what he learned here elsewhere.

That was more than 30 years, a move from the Controller’s Office to the Budget Office, and at least four University presidents ago.

“I found a home here,” Orr said. “I enjoyed the people and the challenges. The people here are very professional and dedicated to the University’s mission. While we may not take the same road to get where we want to go, most of us are dedicated to the mission.”

William Orr retirement
Bill Orr, center, shares a moment with his wife, Janis, right, and President Ann Weaver Hart during his retirement party last month. Orr retired from Temple's Office of Management and Budget on Aug. 31
after more than 34 years here.
(Photo by Ryan S. Brandenberg / University Photography)

But now Orr has decided to take on another mission: being a husband, father and grandfather in a home in the Poconos.

Orr, Temple’s assistant vice president for budget, has decided to step down after more than 34 years on the job. Although he still loves his work, Orr says that it’s time for him to step aside and allow some of the people he’s mentored over the years to join new president Ann Weaver Hart in charting the University’s financial future.

“I’ve been doing this job for a long time,” he said. “The Budget Office is a high-pressure position, and I’m a little tired.”

Since coming to Main Campus in January 1972, he’s seen a lot, Orr said. When he came to Temple, it was a smaller, commuter school with few dormitories. But he leaves it as a more vibrant place, and he’s glad to see that, he said.

“The University has totally changed,” he said. “There are more students living on campus, and it’s alive all of the time. That’s the major change. The Liacouras Center, another of the big changes, put us on the map.”

In addition to leaving a different Temple, Orr’s also leaving a lot of friends who will miss him and colleagues whom he’s shown the ropes.

At his recent retirement party, many of those people came to honor him, tell stories about golf outings and other good times, and thank him for the positive impact he had at the University and in their lives. President Ann Weaver Hart joined everyone in thanking Orr for his contributions.

Martin Dorph, Temple’s vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, served as master of ceremonies for the event. He’s known Orr for the past 11 years and was among those who talked about Orr’s competitive drive on the golf course and his mastery of the budget.

“He understood the budget better than anyone,” he said.

“I’ll miss his energy,” said Vanessa Rose, associate vice president of the Budget Office and Orr’s supervisor. “He has just abundant energy. He has a drive for excellence and a love for people.”

William Wilkinson, executive director of finance and administration in the Provost’s Office, was among those who has worked on budgets and roamed the golf course with Orr. 

“I’ve known him for 24 years, and he’s been one of the guys who have shown me the ropes,” Wilkinson said. “He’s always been a down-to-earth kind of guy.”

He’s also been responsible for training some of the next generation of budget managers. Ken Kaiser, vice president for administration and finance at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, was one of those who came through Orr’s “school.”

Orr encouraged you to excel while making the environment a lively one, Kaiser said.

“He was somebody who demanded your best,” he said. “He expected a job to be done right, and gave you the tools to do that. He made work fun, and he has a great way of making a personal connection with the people he works with.”

“He has an ability to understand different issues,” said Jaison Kurichi, who has worked with Orr as a budget manager at Temple for the past seven years. “I’ve learned how to treat people through him and how to interpret different situations.”

Now that he doesn’t have the next year’s fiscal budget to look forward to, what’s next for Orr? He’ll spend time with his wife, Janis, his sons Bill and Robert, and his three grandchildren. He’ll also play some golf and enjoy his view of the Pocono Mountains, he said.

But he won’t stay still for long. There are a lot of things that Orr’s got planned and that have been planned for him.

“I have a boat and I’ll play golf, work out and exercise,” he said. “I’d also like to get involved with a church that we go to in the Poconos and do some volunteering. I also have a fair amount of property, so I’ll do things around the house.”

Orr’s last day at Temple University was Aug. 31.

 - Denise Clay

 

 


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