Theobald talks first semester, incoming class at BOT meeting

The board’s chairman will receive an honorary degree at commencement.

In his second Board of Trustees meeting as president, Neil Theobald praised the Board of Trustees Tuesday for steps it took to allow a “a record-breaking freshman class,” to enter Temple this fall.

Admission statistics show a more diverse freshman class and a 71 percent increase in committed students who have an SAT score above 1300, something which Theobald attributed in part to the board’s approval of an increase in marketing resources for the university which he said, “raised Temple’s profile significantly.” The president also cited an increase in Temple’s competitiveness due to new scholarships made possible by outside donations.

“In a year when many universities are struggling to fill their entering class, Temple has enrolled a record-breaking class and has shown it can compete for the very best students if we are strategic in our approach, work extremely hard and use our student scholarship dollars wisely,” Theobald said.

In reflecting on his first semester at Temple, Theobald said he’s impressed with the quality of the faculty at the university and spoke about Visualize Temple, which will use input from students, staff and faculty to craft the university’s new master plan.

“Our goal is to imagine what Temple will be like in 10 to 20 years and put in place the elements that will make this vision come to reality,” Theobald said, adding that Visualize Temple will be in place at the end of the next academic year.

Toward the end of his president’s report, Theobald commended BOT Chairman Patrick J. O’Connor, who is receiving a honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Temple. Pallam Raju M. Mallipudi, an alumnus and cabinet minister of India for Human Resources Development, and alumnus Frank Albert Potton, who died in 2007, will also receive honorary degrees, according to the university.

During the meeting, the trustees approved a number of recommendations from the Facilities Committee, including a $750,000 increase in a natural gas conversion project at the Ambler Campus, which would bring the total cost of the project to $1.55 million. The trustees also approved a $900,000 project to upgrade and replace two emergency generators of the College of Engineering building with one new generator, as well as a $3 million project to replace the synthetic turf and drainage system at Edberg-Olson Hall.

The Alumni Relations and Development Committee reported that $320,000 has been pledged to name the new wing of Edberg-Olson Hall after former Temple football coach Wayne Hardin and a $100,000 gift has established the Noddin Scholarship for Continuing Students at Temple Japan

The committee also reported that this fiscal year to date, the total amount of scholarship gifts in terms of dollars from young alumni is 96 percent more than the entire last fiscal year. There has also been a more than 70 percent increase in young alumni scholarship donors, according to the committee’s report.

The Executive Committee will meet on June 13 with the Budget and Finance Committee and the board will meet as a whole again on June 20.

Sean Carlin can be reached at or on Twitter @SeanCarlin84. 

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