Posted November 18, 2016

Owl in the family

More than 450 freshmen—the most ever—are children of Temple alumni.

Three members of the Ewell family standing together and smiling.
Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito
Carolyn Ewell, Class of 2020, is daughter of Lynne and John—proud Temple alumni with a family tree full of Owls.

Carolyn Ewell received the email from Temple University while she was in a Giant supermarket. She looked at her phone, and when she saw “congratulations,” she almost cried. She had been accepted to what she called the “it school” among her fellow Hatboro-Horsham High School seniors, who all seemed to be applying to Temple.

“When you finally move in here, have your own OWLcard, you feel like this is my own school now,” Ewell said recently. “Saying ‘I’m a Temple student’ is pretty awesome, and I made it here on my own. I did it.”

Ewell is one of more than 450 freshmen in the Class of 2020 who are children of Temple alumni. As applications to Temple continue to soar, there are more legacy freshmen than ever before—and that number has more than doubled in the past decade.

President Richard M. Englert saw evidence of this trend from the first days of the fall semester. During move-in, he spoke with a variety of legacy parents who expressed pride in Temple increasingly becoming a family affair.

“Among legacy parents and employee parents and those who are both, it is wonderful to see how those who experienced Temple—and know Temple best—are entrusting their children to us,” Englert said. “I have met so many employees and alumni this fall who can't wait to tell me that their children are students here. It’s great seeing that level of pride.”

That is certainly the case for the Ewells, whose family tree is full of Owls. Carolyn’s father, John, CLA ’86, attended Temple, along with John’s brothers Robby and Ken, who went on to earn his Executive MBA from the Fox School of Business. John’s nephew Kevin (Robby’s son) is a junior advertising major.

Carolyn’s mother, Lynne, ENG ’86, met John at Temple, and she chairs the College of Engineering’s Board of Visitors. In 1991, the couple founded Prism Engineering, which has six offices and is headquartered in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Lynne’s father, John E. Tarka, was a Temple engineering professor for three decades. A design and manufacturing lab the Ewells donated to the college is named in his honor.

There’s more. Three of Lynne’s siblings—Jen, CPH ’90, Jackie, CLA ’91, and Christopher, FOX ’95—are all alumni, and Christopher met wife Diane, SMC ’95, at Temple. Only sister Elizabeth went elsewhere (Penn). And Jen’s twin daughters, Katie and Elizabeth, are sophomores in the School of Media and Communication.

“When we went here, Temple was more of a commuter school, and now it’s a destination school,” John Ewell said. “We were a little ahead of our time.”

Christine Brady, CLA ’88, FOX ’96, was a Temple undergraduate at about the same time as the Ewells. She too has a freshman Owl. Her son Michael attends the Fox School of Business.

“Temple exposed me to the real world in the most positive way,” said Brady, director of school and college programs in Temple’s Office of Alumni Relations. “Diversity, discourse, constant change and betterment, and some of that determination and grittiness too. Knowing that my son will be exposed to those same institutional qualities gives me such assurance. I know exactly what we’ve invested in.”