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The Rudmans to donate $1 million to SMC’s TUTV program

The philanthropists followed up on donation that started campus station.

Radio and TV personality Kal Rudman and his wife, Lucille, will donate $1 million to the student-run Temple University Television, he announced during his acceptance speech at the Temple Alumni Association’s Impact Awards celebration on April 27. 

Rudman’s initial $1.2 million donation in 2010 helped found the station, which broadcasts Temple Update and OwlSports programming, among other student-produced content.

“The number of universities and colleges with TV stations has escalated exponentially,” Rudman said after his acceptance speech. “Those schools are true vocational schools. This is one career especially, where you don’t need a master’s degree like you would in say, psychology.”

Paul Gluck, associate media studies and production professor, general manager of TUTV and instructor of the TUTV practicum course, said the donation will help with continuing station operations for the next four years and special programs like Temple Update coverage from abroad in London and Tokyo.

The donation will also help pay for new technology and the station’s transition to high definition pending Verizon and Comcast approval, Gluck said. The station is broadcast 24/7 on Comcast channel 50 and Verizon channel 45.

“We’ve spoken to broadcasters in the Philadelphia area who are really the most impressed with the Temple students who come through their facility, more so than from any other school,” Lucille Rudman said.

“We’ve had an opportunity since the first grant to see tremendous progress in terms of the staff, the facility and student performance,” Lucille Rudman said. “It was inspiring, and merited additional support.”

Kal Rudman, 84, holds two education degrees from Temple, which he attended on a Guggenheim fellowship. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1951 and a master’s in 1957. He made his fortune from Friday Morning Quarterback, a music and radio industry trade publication.

Rudman started as a DJ in 1959, balancing his radio career with his job as a science teacher. He was also the first R&B editor for Billboard magazine, a co-host on the “Merv Griffin Show” and the resident music expert on NBC’s “Today Show” beginning in 1982.

In addition to his donations to the School of Medicine’s Pulmonary Research Fund – as a way of thanks for saving his wife’s life – Rudman has donated to other media centers at Drexel and the Community College of Philadelphia.

When asked what motivates him to donate, Rudman said “It’s because I can. It’s because my wife Lucille and I, that’s what we want to do with our money: no bling, no fancy Buicks in 60 years.”

Rudman will be back on campus Thursday, when the School of Media and Communication will hold an event for students to thank Rudman, SMC Dean David Boardman said.

The ceremony began at noon with a reception on the 27th floor of Morgan Hall, followed by speeches from trustee and Alumni Association President John Campolongo, as well as Provost Hai-Lung Dai.

Stephen and Sandra Sheller receieved the Russell Conwell award for their donations to help found the Sheller Center for Social Justice, a component of the Beasley School of Law which represents low-income workers.

Accountant and founder of Merves & Company, Stanley Merves received the F. Eugene Dixon Jr. Inspiration award for his annual contributions to Temple Athletics.

Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@temple.edu or on Twitter @JBrandt_TU.

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