September 16, 2011
WHERE: Temple University Ambler, 580 Meetinghouse Road, Bright Hall Lounge (Please Note New Event Location)
WHEN: Friday, September 23, Noon
What is in a name?
The student walkway that wends its way through the interior of the Ambler Campus from Meetinghouse Road to the Ambler Learning Center — a walk that thousands of students make year in and year out — has never had a formal name per se. It was simply a way to get to and from class.
That is about to change, however, as the student walkway is given a name synonymous with dedication, drive, and generosity for the Ambler Campus community and communities throughout the region.
On Friday, September 23, Temple University Ambler will formally dedicate the “Albright Walk” in honor of longtime Ambler Campus advocate Philip Albright and his wife Barbara. The ceremony will begin at Noon in Bright Hall Lounge.
“Phil and Barbara Albright have been dedicated supporters of the Ambler Campus and Ambler Arboretum for decades. It is only appropriate that their dedication to the campus be remembered for decades to come,” said Linda Lowe, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at Temple University Ambler. “Phil has unceasingly supported the campus, the Ambler Arboretum, and the School of Environmental Design. The student walkway was chosen as a way to acknowledge Phil and Barbara’s dedication and generosity because it is used by most students attending courses at Ambler. It is also the chosen pathway walked by the majority of visitors to the campus and most importantly it runs the length of the Ambler Arboretum.”
Phil Albright, who graduated from Temple in 1986 with a degree in Landscape Design, called the walkway dedication a “tremendous honor.”
“This is certainly the first time I’ve ever had a walkway named after me,” he said with a smile. “I think that it tells people that there are individuals that have taken a great interest in the campus, who want it to succeed and thrive — there are a lot of people who put in a great deal of time and effort into Ambler and it’s worth it. When other people see that there are individuals willing to do what they can to support the campus — and when they see the results of their efforts — hopefully it inspires them into action as well.”
During the September 23 program, Ambler Campus Executive Director William Parshall, School of Environmental Design Dean Teresa Soufas, and Ambler Arboretum of Temple University Director Jenny Rose Carey will honor the many facets of the Albrights’ support to the campus. An informal reception will follow.
An adult learner, Albright said it was a love of learning that initially brought him to Temple and a love of the campus and its gardens that kept him coming back.
“I moved to the area in 1977. I had a job in Philadelphia and very soon learned about Temple. I was one of those strange people that liked going to school,” he laughed. “I had an interest in gardening dating back to World War II and the victory gardens planted at that time. My mother would garden year round — inside and outside — so I was right at home at Ambler. I took a course, was convinced into matriculating and did it all during nights and weekends. Eight years later I had my degree in Landscape Design.”
With a degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford already in hand and allegedly moving toward retirement — his tireless efforts in communities throughout the region would seem to reflect otherwise — “I felt that if I could complete the two-year degree in Landscape Design, there was no four-year degree then, I’d make a half-baked landscape architect.”
Albright, a Blue Bell resident, had every intention of involving himself in design work during his retirement. Of course even the best plans don’t always work out as expected.
“All of my outside activities have taken up most of my time for 20 years,” he said. “I’m not one to sit still for very long. I enjoy getting things done.”
Albright’s idea of “getting things done” has been to involve himself in countless community organizations and charities, selflessly giving his time to brighten the lives of others and enhance the community in general. Temple University Ambler has been front and center as a more than appreciative benefactor of his efforts.
“The campus has such tremendous potential. With 187 acres, the Center (for Sustainable Communities), Community and Regional Planning, and now the new Landscape Architecture master’s, it has everything in place to become a national center for environmental and sustainable education,” he said. “I think the Arboretum is a real community resource in addition to being an educational tool for the University. Community assets such as this need volunteers — fundraising in particular isn’t easy in today’s economic environment, but there are people who are willing and able to help; you just need to find them.”
As a recent graduate and Temple alum, Albright made his first gift to Temple University Ambler in 1987. In 1998, he generously supported the maintenance and replanting of the Native Plant Garden, which continues to serve as a teaching tool to both Horticulture students and visitors. The Phil and Barbara Albright Winter Garden was also established in 2008 as the third parterre of the Formal Perennial Gardens.
Albright has also led by example, serving as a member of the Temple University Ambler/School of Environmental Design Board of Visitors since 2003 and Board Chair from 2007 to 2010. He was a founding member of the President’s Advisory Council and founding Chair of the Arboretum Advisory Committee — he plans to continue in that capacity in the coming years.
“You have to find something that you believe in and be willing to put in the time,” he said. “I think if you have the time, talent, and means, you can and should have a valuable and significant impact on your community.”
For more information about the Albright Walk Dedication, contact Linda Lowe at 267-468-8440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTACT: James Duffy, 267-468-8108, email@example.com release available by e-mail