Posted October 5, 2007

First comprehensive campaign to fund ‘Access to Excellence’

On Oct. 5, Temple University launched the public phase of the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign before more than 1,000 supporters gathered at the National Constitution Center.

Called “Access to Excellence: The 125th Anniversary Campaign for Temple,” the initiative seeks to raise $350 million before the campaign ends in 2009. Gifts to the campaign will affect almost every corner of the university, from restoring the Baptist Temple and completing new facilities to building endowment and funding academic, research and community programs.

The university’s fundraising goal is ambitious, but achievable.

“Temple stands at a remarkable point in its history,” said President Ann Weaver Hart. “Never before have we moved forward with such momentum; never before have so many opportunities for progress stood so close within our reach.”

The campaign seeks funding for five key priorities: maintaining affordability and expanding access for students; attracting and retaining the most talented scholars; creating outstanding campus environments for teaching and learning; expanding the research enterprise; and continuing Temple’s powerful role in the community and throughout the region.

Photo by Elizabeth Manning/Temple University

More than 1,000 supporters gathered at the National Constitution Center Friday night to help launch "Access to Excellence: The 125th Anniversary Campaign for Temple,” Temple University's first comprehensive fundraising campaign.

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In addition to securing funding for these initiatives, the campaign seeks to build a stronger culture of philanthropy across the university community.

“Over the past several decades, Temple has achieved a remarkable record of progress — increased enrollment, improved student SAT scores and a vibrant Main Campus — with limited resources,” said Stuart P. Sullivan, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “Private support is vital for Temple to continue investing in programs, faculty and facilities while maintaining its affordability.”

Temple’s appropriation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania meets only about 18 percent of its revenue needs, and the university’s endowment is modest compared to that of most of its peers.

Temple University students
Photo by Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University
Temple is attracting record numbers of students with unprecedented academic credentials. Although Temple's tuition is lower than many similar universities', more than 70 percent of Temple’s full-time undergraduates require financial aid, forcing them to take on debt. Donations to the campaign will help strengthen endowed scholarships and provide access for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

Chairman of the campaign Leonard Barrack, a Temple trustee and alumnus, explained, “We give to Temple because we believe in Temple, we have confidence in its leadership and we see very clearly the difference philanthropy makes in the lives of its faculty and students.”

More support for students and faculty

Temple’s enrollment has grown by several thousand students over the past half-dozen years, reaching more than 36,000 students today. One trait many of these students share is financial need. More than 70 percent of Temple’s full-time undergraduates require financial aid. Temple’s current financial aid programs cannot meet this need in full, so many Temple students graduate with significantly more debt than students from comparable universities.


For example, Temple’s tuition is lower than the University of Pittsburgh’s, yet the average Temple undergraduate leaves the university more than $27,000 in debt, compared to just $17,100 at Pitt. Donations to the campaign will help strengthen endowed scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and professional students, improving Temple’s position as it competes to enroll highly qualified and motivated applicants.

“Temple’s students are inspired to achieve lasting success by our faculty, who shape the curriculum, drive the research program and bring recognition and funding to the university,” said President Hart.

Campaign gifts will help Temple strengthen its ability to compete for and retain outstanding faculty members by creating and expanding the number of endowed and term professorships and chairs it offers. Endowed professorships stand out as a particularly powerful tool for recruiting candidates at the very top of their fields.

“At some institutions, each endowed professorship is one of many,” said Institutional Advancement’s Sullivan. “At Temple, one new endowed position can propel an entire department to new prominence.”


Expanded research and new facilities

Donations to the campaign are also helping to construct a new building for the School of Medicine; a Main Campus home for the Tyler School of Art; and Alter Hall, which, along with the existing Speakman Hall, will provide a home to all of the Fox School’s departments. Gifts to the university will also be used to complete the restoration of the Baptist Temple, the university’s symbolic home.

Research and scholarship, a top campaign priority, are growing rapidly at Temple. Sponsored project expenditures at Temple have grown from less than $100 million to more than $145 million in five years.

Temple University Medical School students
Photo by Ryan Brandenberg/Temple University
Endowment funds support Temple's many community programs. Above, the Temple CARES clinic is a free student-run health clinic that provides medical care and health screenings on a weekly basis at a church in North Philadelphia.

“Across this university, I see people engaged in groundbreaking projects clearly relevant to real-world issues,” said Jeffrey Featherstone, chair of Ambler College’s Department of Community and Regional Planning, “from sustainable development to high-tech drug delivery techniques to teen suicide prevention.”

Beyond campus

A thriving program of research, scholarship and creative activity attracts top faculty and generates new learning opportunities for students. Temple’s research also supports business sectors vital to the economy of greater Philadelphia, including the financial services, chemical, pharmaceutical and hospitality sectors.

“With donations to the campaign bolstering an expanded research agenda, Temple will be well-positioned to contribute even more to the economy and quality of life in the region,” said the president.

Temple faculty and students also take their passion and expertise beyond campus and into the community. For example, faculty members advise civil officials on emergency preparedness and participate in one of the nation’s most successful community arts programs. The Office of Partnership Schools works with public schools in North Philadelphia to implement educational reform.

In addition, the Temple University Health System provides healthcare to patients across the region, including more than $60 million in un-reimbursed care to uninsured and underserved families in neighboring communities. Gifts to the campaign will enhance these and the many other university efforts that reflect Temple’s historic commitment to community service.

Sarah Bass
Photo by Joseph V. Labolito/TempleUniversity
Faculty members such as Sarah Bauerle Bass (above, standing), a public health assistant professor who won a Lindback Award for Teaching Excellence this year, inspire students to achieve lasting success. Endowed funds help universities recruit top teachers and scholars.

Every gift counts toward Temple’s $350 million goal

Access to Excellence is Temple’s first comprehensive campaign, a fundraising initiative that is broader and more strategic than Temple’s more targeted campaigns of the past. Begun on July 1, 2002, the campaign seeks to secure support for the university in many forms.

Every gift to Temple, no matter the size, over the course of the campaign counts toward the campaign goal. Faculty, staff, alumni and friends may designate their gift to any school, college, program or purpose within Temple University or may make unrestricted gifts, a form of investment particularly useful and valuable to the university.

Gifts of all kinds and sizes will count toward the campaign’s total goal of $350 million, including:

• Commitments to endowment priorities such as scholarships, professorships and programs;

• Commitments to capital projects, such as construction of new facilities; and

• Gifts to fund academic, research and community programs.


Gifts for all purposes received before Dec. 31, 2009, will count toward the campaign total.

To learn more about Access to Excellence: The 125th Anniversary Campaign for Temple, visit or call 215-204-1001.

— Written by Greg Fornia

for the Office of News Communications