University hosts 18th ‘Gallery of Success’

Selected alumni from Temple’s colleges and schools received awards.

President Theobald met with award-winner Rahul Merchant, who graduated in 1989 from the Fox School of Business. | JD Mousley TTN
President Theobald met with award-winner Rahul Merchant, who graduated in 1989 from the Fox School of Business. | JD Mousley TTN

To kick off Homecoming Weekend in Mitten Hall Friday night, 18 alumni received awards for their achievements.

From politicians to actors to musicians, multiple generations of Temple alumni were represented at the 18th Annual Gallery of Success. Each school and college picked a distinguished alumnus to represent its school and receive an award.

The Gallery of Success was presented by the Office of Alumni Relations and Career Center. The goal of the event is to highlight extraordinary alumni and inspired current students.

Students from each alumni’s school or college handed them their plaques. Each award winner received a certificate and the university will display plaques in the basement of Mitten Hall for the next calendar year.

At one of the most celebrated alumni events of the year, President Theobald stressed how much these alumni mean to the university.

“You represent the best of our alumni,” Theobald said in his speech. “We have 300,000 alumni in all 50 states and 145 countries.”

Scott Cooper, a university trustee and president of the Temple University Alumni Association, said the awards are a special accomplishment for those who have graduated.

“To me, this award is the pinnacle of what it means to be a great alum,” Cooper said. “Your individual accomplishments contribute to Temple being one of the hottest places in higher education.”

Student Body President Ryan Rinaldi also praised alumni for their hard work and dedication.

“Our honorees today serve as an inspiration to our students, and for that, I thank you,” Rinaldi said in his speech.

Cooper said the event emphasizes giving back to the community and representing Temple. He added events like these drive other alumni to succeed.

“Part of it is motivational, seeing that your fellow alumni can rise to this level and succeed,” Cooper said. “Second, I think having an acknowledgement that people from your school or your class can have an impact is something that others try and emulate.”

Dr. Glenda Price won an award from the College of Public Health, and credited Temple with her success.

“I came here as a 17-year-old student and I say I grew up here because I was at the university for 29 years,” Price said.

Price said despite all the growth and changes to the university, the overall pillars have not changed. It is still a high-quality affordable institution, she said.

Dr. Albert Alley received the award from the School of Medicine. He said his experience at Temple enabled his success through friendly and encouraging people surrounding him.

As an alumnus, Alley never thought about giving back until his daughter attended the School of Medicine.

“I always thought I was a lackluster [alumnus] until my daughter was accepted into the medical school,” he said. “It made me appreciate Temple more and more, and I’ve become more active.”

Alley now follows occurrences at Temple and has taken Temple medical students on overseas missions.

“This gives you a certain perspective that you certainly wouldn’t see [otherwise],” he said. “I leave here in a state of awe, and total respect and admiration of what the school has done.”

Jonathan Gilbert can be reached at or on Twitter @jonnygilbs96.

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