Looking to the Future as We Say Goodbye to 2020

Taking an EcoTour of Campus with the Temple Ambler Field Station

The fall 2020 semester is coming to an end, as will a year unlike any we have ever experienced. It has been a year of perseverance, determination and ingenuity. It has been a year of reflection while we also plan for the future.

It has also been a year of tremendous loss in so many ways. At Temple Ambler this week, we are feeling it most acutely as we remember our dear friend and colleague Saul Katzman, who we lost to COVID-19. Saul became part of our Temple Ambler family in 2003, ushering in so many important moments of our shared history, from opening the Learning Center, to establishing and growing EarthFest to nurturing the Ambler Arboretum and seeing it thrive.

In every respect, he was Temple’s champion. We will miss his guidance; we will miss his support; we will miss his stories and one-liners and, most of all, we will miss his friendship. From the first day that Saul set foot on campus, he wanted every endeavor, every project that the campus conceived, to succeed. We honor his memory by continuing and building on the 16 years of work and dedication have gave to Temple Ambler.

The work of building the future of the Ambler Campus continues non-stop. We are so excited to have formally established the Temple Ambler Field Station! The Field Station will be the focal point for cross-disciplinary, cutting-edge scientific research; hands-on teaching and learning; and important outreach programs. You can learn about Dr. Amy Freestone, Director of the Field Station, here. We have a lot of irons in the fire, which we hope to soon be able to announce. 2021 is going to be an exciting year for new campus research, initiatives and projects!

As the year changed dramatically for all of us, our campus teams pivoted quickly to remote/virtual Admissions, Academic and Student Services, and Student Life programs. That work has continued through the fall and will continue through spring 2021. Ambler Campus Admissions has offered more than 50 virtual recruitment events this fall alone and created a digital experience for admitted students showcasing what Temple Ambler has to offer. Student Life has also offered numerous virtual events and opportunities for our students to engage virtually.

Temple Ambler Academic and Student Services is collaborating with the College of Science and Technology on the implementation of a pre-college science and math certificate program for high school juniors and seniors. The Temple Science and Math Scholars Program was approved by the Board of Trustees in October and we hope to welcome our first cohort in fall 2021. A new University College Bachelor of General Studies degree program was also approved by the trustees this fall and is expected to launch in fall 2021 as well. This interdisciplinary degree program is designed to help non-traditional adult learners with “some college credits, no degree” earn a Temple degree in a flexible format.  Courses can be taken at any Temple campus as well as online.

Despite our current circumstances, Temple Ambler continued throughout 2020 to provide unique educational experiences. From Ambler Arboretum guest speakers and special events to EarthFest Presents programs like the Great American Campout and Science of Scary. These are treasure troves of educational information and activities that live on well after the event dates. EarthFest Presents is already hard at work planning a virtual experience for World Water Day, Earth Day and Arbor Day in March and April 2021 and the Arboretum has a full slate of speakers ready for the coming year!

Much of this content can be found on the Temple Ambler YouTube page. If you haven’t visited, you really should. You’ll find Arboretum tours, student profiles, tips for your home gardens, EarthFest Presents videos and much more! We hope you’ll take a moment to subscribe to our YouTube page while you’re there!

Finally, ending the year on a good note, we have some wonderful accolades to share.

The Philadelphia Business Journal has named Angela Davis, Assistant Dean of Development for University College, as an honoree for their 2020 Women of Distinction Awards. The awards are presented annually to recognize some of the region's most influential businesswomen. The program honors women in the business community who are blazing a trail in their respective businesses, are respected for accomplishments within their industries, give back to the community, and are sought out as respected advisors and mentors within their field of influence. Angela is more than deserving of this award and we couldn’t be happier for her!

I wish you all a very happy holiday season! Please, all of you, be safe. We look forward to welcoming you to campus soon. It will be wonderful to see you here!



Vicki Lewis McGarvey
Vice Provost
Ambler Campus, University College