Though he is not an alumnus, former Board of Trustees Chair Daniel Polett is the namesake of Berks Mall between 12th and 13th streets.
While passing the landmark Bell Tower on Main Campus between 12th and 13th streets, students may now notice a few not-quite-cherry-red plates of metal – new street signs. Among these signs is one new and possibly unfamiliar name: Polett Walk.
Most recognize the pedestrian walkway that runs through Liacouras Walk as Berks Mall, since it becomes Berks Street after crossing 17th Street to the west and 11th Street to the east.
The decision to rename the walkway was made at a meeting of the Temple Board of Trustees Oct. 13, when the board unanimously approved the naming of Polett Walk to honor former board chairman Daniel Polett.
Polett, a member of Temple’s Board of Trustees since 1992, was elected board chair in 2006 and served the position until he was succeeded by Patrick J. O’Connor earlier this year. Polett has been an active member through his involvement with the Executive, Academic Affairs and Trustee Affairs committees.
Upon hearing the board’s vote, Polett said he is “humbled and honored by this recognition. I love Temple and have been proud to serve the university,” according to the university Office of News Communications.
Polett graduated from Fordham University and embarked on his career in the automotive industry in 1960. Since then, Polett became a renowned entrepreneur in the industry, receiving various awards in the field.
In 1975 and 1995, Time magazine presented Polett with its Magazine Quality Dealer Award.
Although Polett did not graduate from Temple, he soon became a prominent figure in the university through his work on the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce as well as the board that helps to oversee Temple University Hospital.
In 1993, Polett earned the Acres of Diamonds Award, an award that has been presented by Temple to publications such as In Style magazine, Sports Illustrated and Martha Stewart Living. Following this award, he received the 1995 Russell Conwell Award, the highest honor given to a non-alumnus.
Prior to being elected as the board chair, Polett chaired the 17-member committee that recommended Ann Weaver Hart to the board for consideration as Temple’s ninth president.
In addition to his service to the university, Polett is a member of the Board of Directors for both Catholic Social Services and St. Ignatius Nursing Home. Polett also serves as chairman of the Cardinal’s Christmas Party for Children, which is hosted by Catholic Social Services and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Angelo Fichera can be reached at email@example.com.