An Incredible Transformation
The sweeping success of the Access to Excellence campaign permeates Temple.
Story by Greg Fornia, SCT ’92, and Maria Raha
Access to Excellence: The 125th Anniversary Campaign for Temple was an extraordinary success. The commitment of alumni, friends, foundations, corporate partners, faculty, staff and even students has improved Temple’s campuses, boosted scholarship funds for students, propelled the university’s research enterprise, increased resources for faculty and enhanced community initiatives.
When the campaign began in 2002, Temple aspired to:
• increase sources of financial aid to reduce student debt
• multiply the number of endowed professorships and chairs to attract many more world-class scholars
• build advanced new facilities to offer 21st-century learning experiences
• pursue the long-term goal of ranking among the top public research campuses in the nation
• strengthen its community partnerships and create new ones, to amplify its impact in the region and around the world
By its close in December 2009, more than $380 million had been raised through the Access to Excellence campaign, surpassing its original $300 million and even its extended $350 million fundraising goals. These funds have transformed Temple and have enabled the institution to set new standards in the classroom and beyond.
The success of Access to Excellence also marks an extraordinary turning point for the Temple community. Alumni and friends always have been passionate supporters of the university that has helped to shape their lives. However, the recordsetting success of Access to Excellence demonstrates that a new, stronger culture of sustained investment and participation has begun.
Bright, talented and hard-working, students are at the center of Access to Excellence. The campaign aimed to increase merit- and need-based support across all 17 of the university’s schools and colleges and more than 320 degree programs, providing more students with access to a Temple education.
Access to Excellence succeeded in adding more than $95 million to the university’s scholarship resources, and 312 new student scholarship funds have been created since 2002.
More than 200 scholarship funds with need-based criteria have been established, ranging from general support to scholarships with very specific requirements based on a student’s area of academic interest, his or her background or other factors. This unprecedented support means more Temple students can pursue their passions in the classroom, in the community and in the working world.
A world-class faculty is essential to academic excellence. Experienced professors shape the curriculum, mentor younger colleagues and inspire students to pursue their goals. To continue bringing talented academics and researchers to campus, Temple sought to increase the number of endowed funds and other financial resources earmarked for faculty. As a result, more than $20 million was raised expressly for this purpose and, between 2005 and 2009, Temple hired more than 300 scholars from leading academic and research institutions around the world.
Advanced facilities create a vibrant campus atmosphere. When Access to Excellence began in 2002, Temple required new facilities to propel its campuses well into the 21st century. To begin the transformation of the campus environment, the university invested $500 million and built several flagship buildings.
The Medical Education and Research Building at the Health Sciences Center, the Fox School of Business’ Alter Hall, the Tyler School of Art’s Main Campus home and a new building for the Boyer College of Music and Dance, also on Main Campus, encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and improve the creative and adventurous spirit that is characteristic of Temple students in all fields of study.
At the corner of Broad Street and Polett Walk (formerly Berks Street), the Baptist Temple, where university founder Russell Conwell began holding classes in 1891, has reopened as a state-of-the-art event center.
The Baptist Temple’s newly renovated main hall, now called Lew Klein Hall, was supported by a $1 million commitment from Larry Magid, SBM ’64, and by hundreds of additional donors. The reopened facility will attract thousands of citizens from throughout the Philadelphia region to Main Campus and help to anchor the northern portion of Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts.
Research is an important way to attract top talent to Temple. Also, advanced investigations offer unique educational experiences to students and provide opportunities to transform society. To expand the research enterprise—and to move closer to a long-term goal of ranking among the top public research universities in the nation— Temple aimed to significantly increase support for academic and scientific inquiry.
Photo courtesy Joeseph V. Labolito
Photo courtesy Ryan S. Brandenberg
Between 1999 and 2009, annual funding for sponsored projects more than doubled, growing from $39.9 million to $88.8 million. The result is an enterprise that bolsters the regional economy, improves the lives of individuals around the world and sets the stage for future discovery.
Temple’s growing support for academic and laboratory exploration—from foundations, government agencies and individuals—also means university investigators have the additional resources they need to understand today’s complex issues in medicine, the environment and other areas.
The Temple Connection
During Access to Excellence, the university and the Temple University Alumni Association (TUAA) established a number of programs to engage the unique spirit of Temple’s 265,000 graduates. Throughout the campaign, those programs—as well as longtime traditions such as Founder’s Celebration and Homecoming Weekend—attracted more than 50,000 participants to events that took place across the nation.
The online community myowlspace.com also provides alumni and student members with ways to connect with each other and with today’s Temple. There, alumni can reconnect with classmates, find networking opportunities and career resources, offer mentoring services to current students, make gifts to the university and register for events.
Through regional clubs and the Temple on the Road series, alumni who live outside the Philadelphia area are connecting with fellow graduates in cities throughout the nation. Clubs have organized in Atlanta, Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Northern California and Washington, D.C.
Another way for Temple graduates to reconnect and network with fellow alumni is through shared interest groups: the Temple University Black Alumni Alliance, Temple University Young Alumni and Temple Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alumni. Each year, shared-interest groups host networking events, outings, reunions and special programs.
Envisioning Temple's Future
Temple University has reached a new level of distinction. The success of Access to Excellence demonstrates that a culture of private philanthropy has taken root at Temple and will continue to grow. With augmented financial resources supporting students and academic programs, the university is in a position to embark on a strategic plan that will improve the learning and living experience for every Temple student. This new plan exemplifies the university’s continuing drive to improve, to grow and to engage worldwide in the 21st century.
Universitywide Academic Growth
As Temple begins its next chapter, the university’s future academic and scholarly development will be guided by the Academic Strategic Compass. With four main areas of focus—Opportunities for Success, Research Excellence, Metro-Engagement and Global Commitment—the plan includes dozens of specific initiatives and ambitious five-year goals, including improving the graduation rate, increasing sponsored research and more.
At the center of the Academic Strategic Compass is Destination Temple, a goal that will help to draw even more outstanding and adventurous minds to Temple’s locations in Philadelphia and around the world.
In order to develop Destination Temple, the university will expand opportunities for students to excel in the classroom and encourage innovation and exploration in every school and college. Temple also will broaden the scope of community partnerships in the region and across Pennsylvania, and will increase opportunities for international teaching, learning, research and community outreach experiences. This ever-increasing community of students, artists, scholars and scientists is the heart of the university that will enhance the lives of people around the world.
Building for the Future
Temple also will create new facilities for learning, living and recreation. Temple 20/20, the framework through which the university will become a true destination, will rejuvenate Broad Street and make it a vibrant corridor that thrives around the clock as a lively urban environment.
Within a decade, Main Campus and the nearby Health Sciences Center will be an area rich in amenities and a dynamic destination for the entire Philadelphia region.
This ongoing campus transformation is the most visible manifestation of Temple’s continuing growth as a center for scholarship and creativity, impact and opportunity. Increasingly, people from around the world will look toward Temple University as a vital hub for bold thought and groundbreaking research. They will come to Temple—on campus, online or at international locations—to learn, discover, exchange ideas and amplify new knowledge. They will inspire others and be inspired by those exceptional individuals who are part of Temple’s remarkable global community. Their vision and the vision of the university will continue to transform lives in Philadelphia and beyond.
Temple’s future has never been brighter.
To read more about Access to Excellence: The 125th Anniversary Campaign for Temple, click here.
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