Temple renames School of Media and Communication

After a multimillion-dollar donation to the school, it will be named for Lew Klein.

The university announced Wednesday morning that the School of Media and Communication will be renamed the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication.

In a news release, the university credited the renaming to a “historic, multimillion-dollar gift” to the school from Lew Klein and his wife, Janet.

Klein is the namesake of the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award, which has gone to prominent figures in the media like writer and producer Tina Fey and broadcast journalist Wolf Blitzer. He also taught at Temple for more than 60 years.

Klein’s donation is accompanied by “seven-figure” contributions from trustees Steve Charles, a 1980 alumnus of the school and the namesake of the Steve Charles Chair in Media, and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest and his wife, the release read. Lenfest and his wife are friends of Klein.

The release did not include exactly how much was donated to the school.

The donations will ultimately go toward facilities, said Dean David Boardman. He said the school is in the process of creating a proposal for new facilities which would expand Annenberg Hall around its existing building.

“It’s somewhere between a dream and a proposal,” he said. “If we raise enough together, we can put together an expansion.”

The release added that the school will be formally dedicated later in Spring 2017 along with other events that mark the school’s 50-year anniversary. Boardman said that a campaign to “build a new home for Klein College” will be launched at the same time with the goal of raising enough money to update the school’s facilities.

“It’s only fitting that we recognize Lew … through the naming of the Klein College of Media and Communication in honor of the legacy he has built in Philadelphia and across the nation,” President Richard Englert said in the release.

Boardman said when he started at Temple three-and-a-half years ago, he saw the school did not have a “great tradition” of fundraising. He also said it became “pretty clear” in his first year that the school should be renamed for Klein.

“A college is usually named for someone the university wants to honor in terms of their service or for someone who has contributed a lot of money,” Boardman said. “The beauty in this is that both have happened.”

Boardman said Klein was involved in the school before it even was a school, and he developed the first television program at Temple.

He added that a name for the school will not only raise its profile, but also increase alumni participation.

“Even in our own university people talk about Boyer, Tyler and Fox differently,” Boardman said. “I know now that Klein will have the same identity.”

Julie Christie can be reached at julie.christie@temple.edu or on Twitter @ChristieJules.

This story has been updated with new information and interviews.

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