Temple Magazine

Gifts Around the Globe

Goldman Sachs Gives supports Temple near
and far.

Story by Andrew Smith

In 2007, investment and securities firm Goldman Sachs found a way to spark employee interest in philanthropy. Through Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund that maintains individual accounts for Goldman Sachs partners, qualified nonprofit organizations receive grants that expand educational opportunities, support veterans, improve communities and spur economic growth. The selected organizations are chosen at the recommendation of Goldman Sachs partners. And this year, two executives have come through for Temple.

The Power of Temple

A $500,000 gift came from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of Alan, CLA ’72, and Deborah, SBM ’72, Cohen, who are both well acquainted with the power of Temple.

Native Philadelphians, the Cohens were just children when they both suffered the loss of their fathers. As a result, they were raised by single mothers in households where money was tight. When it came time to attend college, both turned to Temple.

“The university’s mission—a quality education at an affordable price—really hit home for us,” Alan says. “We’re both very grateful for that and aren’t sure what we would have done without Temple.”

Today, Alan is executive vice president and global head of compliance for Goldman Sachs in New York City. Deborah spent most of her career in merchandising and product development, at one point serving as vice president of merchandising for a specialty store division of JCPenney. She also serves on the board of the Temple University Alumni Club of Metropolitan New York.

In recognition of the Temple education they received, the Cohens recently suggested that Goldman Sachs Gives make a gift to expand Be Your Own Boss Bowl, the university’s annual business-plan competition. Now in its 13th year, the contest is sponsored by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute in the Fox School of Business.

One of two gifts from Goldman Sachs Gives will support Japanese students at Temple University Japan.

Deborah and Alan Cohen

Deborah, SBM '72, and Alan, CLA '72, Cohen support Temple through Goldman Sachs Gives.

“Our education provided us with the knowledge and skills that helped us succeed in our careers,” Deborah says. “We hope that this gift will foster entrepreneurship and create opportunities for students throughout Temple.”

Be Your Own Boss Bowl has historically accepted entries in two tracks: one for undergraduates and the other for graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni. Thanks to the Goldman Sachs Gives gift, a third track—social innovation ventures—was added, and three new prizes were created: “Best-Written Plan by a Woman,” “Best-Written Plan by a Minority” and “Best-Written CleanTech Plan.”

The Cohens decided to direct the gift to Be Your Own Boss Bowl after speaking with Fox School of Business Dean M. Moshe Porat, SBM ’81.

“Dean Porat told us about all the benefits the competition had—getting students involved in entrepreneurship and the jobs and companies that would result from it,” Alan says. “In turn, the contest would help build communities, which is one of the missions of Goldman Sachs Gives.”

“The idea really resonated with us,” Deborah adds. “We want students to get a good education, to get a leg up on their careers, launch companies and jumpstart communities.”

After serving as judges at the 2011 Be Your Own Boss Bowl in April, the Cohens were impressed by its potential.

“We saw that this gift would have far greater reach than we originally thought,” Alan says. “The students were very impressive, and we have no doubt that many of them will succeed as entrepreneurs.”

Jaine Lucas, executive director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, says that businessplan competitions are becoming a good way for firsttime and young entrepreneurs to fund ventures.

“This gift has elevated our business-plan competition into the elite category nationwide,” she says. “It also promotes the long-term viability of great ideas and, ultimately, creates businesses and jobs.” When asked what they would say to those who are considering making a gift to Temple, the Cohens nearly speak in unison.

“Do it. There is nothing better you can do for your community than to help enhance education.”

Back to Summer 2011