Posted March 14, 2008

Baptist Temple to benefit from anonymous $1 million gift

Trustees designate gift as endowment to support student programming


Temple’s Board of Trustees last week voted to use an anonymous $1 million received in the mail last month to help shape the future of the renovated Baptist Temple.


The anonymous donor of the $1 million said the university could use the funds as it sees fit. The money will be placed into an endowment to support student programming, such as the Temple University Symphony Orchestra and Choir, which will perform in the renovated historic landmark when it reopens in 2010.

The gift was one of two anonymous checks unexpectedly received in the mail in early February. The companion $4 million check was designated for student scholarships by the donor.

“This is a tremendous gift, and will help us turn the Temple building once again into the heart of Temple University,” said President Ann Weaver Hart following the board’s action.

Preliminary architectural renderings of the Baptist Temple
Preliminary architectural renderings by

RMJH Hiller
With state-of-the-art acoustics and elegant interiors, the Baptist Temple's Main Performance Hall will become a venue for performances of all kinds.

“When the renovations are complete, the Temple will offer students a stunning new facility while drawing visitors from around the world onto campus and into the community,” said Hart.

The Temple is currently undergoing a dramatic $29 million renovation, which will turn the 1891 building into a premier venue for arts and cultural productions, international speakers, symposia, intellectual debate and gatherings both large and small.

The renovation of the Temple will modernize the historic structure, while respecting its imposing role as a Broad Street landmark. Once work is complete, the 36,000-square foot Temple will stand as a northern anchor of Philadelphia’s celebrated Avenue of the Arts.

Baptist Temple will benefit from anonymous $1 million gift
by Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University
More than a century after its doors first opened in 1891, the Baptist Temple is poised to reclaim its historic role as the heart of Temple University.

With room for a 100-piece orchestra, 215-member choir and flexible seating for as many as 1,200 people, the Temple will comfortably host opera, dance, jazz, orchestra, theater and other types of performances for the university and greater Philadelphia community.

The university is in the midst of an ambitious $15 million fundraising effort for the Temple. The university has an overall goal of $350 million as part of the “Access to Excellence” campaign, which continues through Dec. 31, 2009.

Take part in the Baptist Temple’s historic rebirth by contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement at 215-204-1001 or visit to make your gift.