The national anthem could be heard under the tent at Broad and Venango streets to celebrate the groundbreaking of Temple’s new medical school. The 480,000 square-foot, $150 million project is scheduled to be completed May 2009, just in time for the entering fall class.
“A lot of important people are gathered here today to celebrate a truly momentous occasion in the history of Temple,” said Dean of Temple’s Medical School John Daly, M.D., at the Nov. 1 ceremony.
Alongside Daly sat President Ann Weaver Hart, Gov. Ed Rendell, alumnus and Board of Trustees member, Solomon D. Luo, M.D., Board of Trustees Chairman Daniel Pollett and Medical School student Karen Siren.
“It’s more than just a new medical school,” Daly, who is a 1973 graduate of the school, said. “I spoke with a young lady before the start of the program today, a very bright high school student. Ten years from now, she might be in training to become a physician in this building.”
The new building is the first medical school to be constructed at Temple in 40 years and is the largest construction project in Temple’s history. The faculty and staff of the school have donated more than $2 million to the project.
“Our talented faculty has worked hard to develop so many cutting edge programs,” Daly said. “In 2002, for example, we had $32 million in extramural grants. Last year that figure soared to $44 million.”
Daly also noted that there was a marked increase in the credentials for the students who have applied to Temple’s Medical School, allowing Temple to surpass the national average with a 12 percent increase in applicants. Daly made a special point to also recognize local members of the community, including the 3500 block of Carlisle Street.
“I am truly honored to take part in this significant and long anticipated moment,” Pollett said. “It is great to look out into the audience and see so many friends.”
Hart began her address by telling the crowd that the spirit she felt at the ceremony was the reason why she loved Philadelphia and Temple.
“It’s a great thrill for all of us to welcome alumni, friends, donors and other supporters in our community to this celebration and groundbreaking,” Hart said.
“This is a tremendous partnership with the city of Philadelphia and with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Hart then gave the history of Temple’s medical school, giving the student, faculty and members of the audience more knowledge about the legacy that she said would continue with the new building. Hart recognized Temple as “a model of medical education and a source of hope and healing for Philadelphia and far beyond.”
“What we are witnessing here today is more than just a groundbreaking ceremony. It is a gesture that represents a great change in growth that is happening at Temple University,” Pollett said. “From an institution that was once largely perceived as a commuter school, we have transformed into a major fixture and resource in the Philadelphia region and beyond. Once again, we face a new beginning.”
Mya K. Douglas can be reached at email@example.com.