NEW YORK – Elizabeth Levison, SMC ’10, flew to her hometown of Horsham, Pennsylvania, from Los Angeles on March 25. That night, she saw Temple’s men’s basketball team oust Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Knowing Temple was bound for the NIT semifinals Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, she postponed her flight back to the West Coast so she could catch the Owls in action at least one more time.
Levison joined an impressive contingent of Temple fans who traveled to New York to cheer on their team. Temple fell to the University of Miami, 60-57, ending a remarkable season in which head coach Fran Dunphy won American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and the Owls notched 17 more wins than last season—the best improvement in Division I—to finish 26-11.
The Metropolitan New York Chapter of the Temple University Alumni Association (TUAA) hosted an NIT Semifinal Pre-game Reception that attracted hundreds of fans to Stout NYC, a bar near Madison Square Garden.
Chapter co-chair Michael J. Kauffman, SMC ’86, said the impressive turnout was a testament to a basketball team “that’s not only winning but inspiring” with a deep run in postseason play.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to meet, connect and engage with alumni who are passionate about the university,” Kauffman said. “They (the team) helped all of us connect in New York, and that’s a byproduct of their passion and values.”
Fellow board members Jack Carton, FOX ’75, and Frank J. Gallo, Jr., FOX ’97, both said the national visibility of the NIT continued the energy and excitement surrounding Temple.
“Seeing familiar faces, as well as the people who are coming from all different areas, it’s an awesome turnout,” Gallo said while surveying the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Stout.
Season-ticket holder Tom Bunting, FOX ’68, traveled to the game from Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, in a group of nine.
“Anybody who’s a Temple fan probably feels really great about this program,” he said.
Nearby, Steve Levine, FOX ’81, said he was impressed with the competitive edge that the Cherry and White displayed throughout the tournament.
“To me, this team is so special,” he said.
Alicia Fajardo, COE ’07, of New Jersey, said she’s noticed the pride Temple has generated through its recent marketing efforts.
An example could be seen practically across the street from Madison Square Garden. A digital billboard displayed a huge Temple T and the #WeTheT hashtag.
Kauffman, the TUAA Metropolitan New York Chapter co-chair, had a slight addendum.
“We the T in NYC,” he said.