Great things are happening at Temple.
In the last 10 years, the university has transitioned from a commuter college where few developers would dare to invest to an enlivened campus where life continues long after the school day has ended.
For all of the university’s accomplishments – leading the nation in diversity, continually raising standards for the freshman class and sparking tangible development in surrounding neighborhoods – we have thus far failed to keep alumni invested in their alma mater.
But change appears to be coming in this area. Last month, Temple launched MyOwlSpace.com, a new social networking Web site with membership limited to students and alumni.
Football’s season opener at the Linc attracted more than 30,000 fans. More alumni are stepping up to the plate with multi-million dollar donations – the most well known being Dennis Alter’s $15 million contribution to build the new business school.
The university’s reinvigorated approach to fundraising has been highlighted by a brand new, $2.5 million ad campaign, which they debuted earlier this month.
It’s a truly notable accomplishment for the university to identify and unite its alumni, a disparate group spread all over the country with only one common thread – the four years they spent on North Broad Street.
But why, in an effort to remind them of their blissful days at Temple, would they choose an ad campaign created by a professional ad agency from Harrisburg? Beyond this university being a distinctly Philadelphia creation, the campaign’s focus – the Temple “T” – was itself designed by
eight Tyler students in the 1980s.
As we embark upon what is probably the biggest effort to brand the university since that omnipresent logo debuted, why have we forgotten this most valuable asset – the student body?
When other major universities are trying to establish their brand, usually they turn to their students. Universities are often the genesis of new ideas in science and thought, why not communications?
As they often boast, Temple has top-notch programs in both advertising and film. Why couldn’t the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, like so many other universities, use on-campus resources to show the world what Temple has to offer?
There’s no better reminder of Temple memories than the students themselves.
Let’s give Temple students another chance to show our alumni some real initiaTive.