Posted December 13, 2017

From Rhodes to renovations, 10 unforgettable moments from 2017

This year has been an eventful one at Temple. From celebrating Hazim Hardeman, our first Rhodes Scholar, to breaking records for enrollment and fundraising, the university continues to soar.

The new owl statue on campus with the Bell Tower in the background
Photography By: 
Betsy Manning
The new owl statue placed on campus as part of the renovation of Founder’s Garden and O’Connor Plaza quickly became a favorite destination for photos.
Over the course of 2017, so much has happened here: Campus has undergone major changes (Chick-fil-A, anyone?), the university has soared in rankings and hit historic markers in enrollment and fundraising, and Temple’s community impact has been felt in many ways—not the least of which comes in the form of Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, which garnered national media attention.
Although we also faced a number of challenges, 2017 leaves us with many extraordinary memories that will continue to be points of pride in the months ahead. Here, we revisit 10 of the year’s most memorable moments.
North Philly’s own Hazim Hardeman becomes Temple’s first Rhodes Scholar
Hazim Hardeman, a May 2017 graduate of Klein College of Media and Communication, became Temple’s pride and joy in November after winning Temple’s first-ever Rhodes Scholarship. Temple and Philadelphia can’t get enough of Hardeman, a visionary scholar who also teaches at Temple and grew up just a few blocks from Main Campus. Revisit Hardeman’s extraordinary story.
Hazim Hardeman shaking hands with President Richard Englert
Rhodes Scholar Hazim Hardeman talks with President Richard M. Englert on campus. (Photo: Joseph V. Labolito)
Symphony for a Broken Orchestra brings music back to schools
Attention and praise of this ongoing project spearheaded by Temple Contemporary reached a crescendo in early December, as 400 musicians young and old gathered to play a concert on some of the broken instruments before they’re repaired and returned to city public schools. Symphony for a Broken Orchestra gives people the opportunity to get involved by adopting instruments and enjoyed accolades in national media outlets, from NPR to The New York Times. The best part? The project continues now, as the more than 1,000 instruments collected will be fixed before they go back to Philadelphia schoolchildren, complete with repair kits to ensure they don’t fall into disrepair again.
A woman playing a violin with a broken bow
A musician uses a broken bow to play a broken violin during a rehearsal for the 'Symphony for a Broken Orchestra' performance. (Photo: Betsy Manning)
Campus developments bring popular eateries, new selfie spot
It seems like everywhere you turn on campus, something is being built, renovated or knocked down. This year, that meant lots of new academic and recreational spaces, including the Student Center’s renovated food court, complete with a Chick-fil-A, a second Starbucks location and other new dining options; the brand-new bronze owl statue at the newly renovated Founder’s Garden and O’Connor Plaza at the heart of campus, across from the site of the new library that’s on the rise; and the opening of the Aramark STAR Complex along the western edge of campus, bringing new academic and campus rec spaces, including an outdoor track that’s open to the public. 
President Richard Englert speaking during O'Connor Plaza dedication
President Richard M. Englert addresses the crowd during the dedication of O'Connor Plaza. (Photo: Ryan S. Brandenberg)
Enrollment reaches new heights
For the fourth year in a row, applications for Temple’s incoming freshman class shattered records, with nearly 37,000 students seeking spots in the Class of 2021. The roughly 5,100 freshmen who enrolled in this year’s new class boosted total enrollment above 40,000 for the first time in the university’s history. 
Record-breaking fundraising efforts support more students than ever
The fiscal year ending June 30 resulted in $90.6 million in fundraising coming to Temple—a new all-time high that surpassed the previous record by more than $6 million. Achievements in fundraising included a significant boost in alumni engagement and a nearly 18 percent increase in major donors. 
Historic gift renames a college for a Temple legend
Part of that record-breaking fundraising was a historic gift that prompted the naming of the Klein College of Media and Communication in honor of broadcast pioneer Lew Klein. Klein, who has taught at Temple for more than 60 years, has launched numerous careers from his classroom, including those of Bob Saget, KLN ’78, and CBS Evening News Executive Producer Steve Capus, KLN ’86. Saget visited campus in March to emcee the dedication ceremony for his longtime friend and mentor.
Bob Saget addresses the crowd during Klein College dedication
Bob Saget emcees the dedication ceremony for the Klein College of Media and Communication. (Photo: Joseph V. Labolito)
Rankings continue to rise
Temple’s U.S. News & World Report ranking this year returned to an all-time high, tying its record No. 115 placement set previously. Besides that high mark, the university had lots to celebrate in the way of rankings news, including a 57-spot climb to No. 160 in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education’s ranking and top-10 rankings for both undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship in The Princeton Review.  
Researcher wins prestigious Keck grant to study dark matter
Everyone at Temple became a little more well-versed in the world of physics this year, thanks to physicist Jeff Martoff winning the university’s first-ever W. M. Keck Foundation grant to investigate dark matter. The brain-bending phenomenon has been called the No. 1 question facing astrophysicists today. 
Temple students bring home record number of Fulbright Scholarships
We may sound like a broken record talking about so many broken records, but 2017 was a banner year at Temple. One of those records included the university’s largest class of Student Fulbright grantees. This year’s honorees will travel around the globe to complete their work, from Germany to Slovakia to South Korea.  
Temple student giving a school child a high five
A Temple employee high fives a child at the Duckrey School during a Global Days of Service event. (Photo: Joseph V. Labolito)
Global Days of Service expand
For the first time ever, Temple’s Global Days of Service, traditionally a one-day event, extended to cover a full week, and included Temple Toast, an annual show of support and pride for the university. During the 24-hour Temple Toast, more than 1,200 Owls generously gave nearly $111,000 to support Temple’s mission. A record of more than 500 volunteers fanned out across the city to participate in 34 projects during this year’s Global Days of Service.