The Student Center will no longer have the distinction of being one of the only buildings on campus without an official name. The Board of Trustees recently announced that the Student Center has been renamed for Howard Gittis, a Temple benefactor and former chairman of the Board.
“I think it’s great,” said Jason Levy, director of the Student Center. “I think the building needed a name.”
Levy said the new name, which was officially approved at the Oct. 10 meeting, will be beneficial in marketing the building.
“One of the things we’re really trying to get away from is students calling it ‘the SAC,’ Levy said. “It hasn’t been ‘the SAC’ since it was renovated. We want to get across that we’re the Student Center, that we’re here for the students.”
Gittis has been a member of Temple’s Board of Trustees for 26 years and was board chair for six. He played a crucial role in the university’s development and expansion, donating millions of dollars to its programs and raising the standard of success for students and faculty
alike. But very few students have heard Gittis’ name, much less a running list of his achievements.
“I’m kind of ashamed,” said sophomore Tim Bratton. “I feel like I should know who he is, but I don’t.”
Freshman Dustin Rodriguez echoed Bratton’s statements.
“I don’t know half the people who the halls and buildings are named after,” Rodriguez
said. “This is just more of the same.”
Some students said they are also skeptical about the university’s attempt to move away from calling the Student Center ‘the SAC,’ and are doubtful that renaming it for Howard Gittis will have any effect on this practice.
“I think it’ll still retain its name, if not formally, then informally,” Bratton said.
“It will take time,” Kyle McGill, a freshman, said. “In a few years, it will catch on, once they start telling incoming classes, ‘This is what it’s called.'”
Plans for a new sign and other additions to the Center are in the works, but nothing has been finalized yet, Levy said.
“I think it’s going to end up being a huge waste of money, these advertising campaigns to call the Student Center something different,” senior Maggie McGinn said. “It will always be ‘the SAC.'”
Anna Hyclak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.