A $10.9 million present to Temple College from the property of a graduate of the establishment has explicit resonance on the Philadelphia campus. The cash will probably be focused at college students with bodily disabilities at a college recognized for its sturdy observe report in offering incapacity providers.
The late donor, a 1953 graduate, was a disabled scholar at a time when such providers weren’t the norm on faculty campuses, however she thrived academically and constructed a profitable profession after graduating—outcomes her relations say she credited to her time at Temple. Now, 70 years later, the brand new funds will probably be used to help present college students who can incur greater college-related bills associated to their incapacity for things like assistive know-how, or note-takers or interpreters, or for housing that may accommodate massive medical gear, amongst different issues.
“It makes my coronary heart so blissful to know that college students with disabilities, like myself, will get the assistance that we should be higher educated,” mentioned Shawn Aleong, a sophomore at Temple majoring in authorized research and finance. “This can be a monumental second.”
The present comes from the property of Jeanne Zweig, who was born with cerebral palsy. She obtained her bachelor’s diploma in accounting in two years and graduated on the high of her class. She returned to Temple the next 12 months and earned an M.B.A.
“She was good,” mentioned Karen Leshner, Zweig’s niece. “She was simply paralyzed and solely had using a few fingers on her proper hand.”
Zweig labored for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting agency, after graduating from Temple after which went on to begin her personal profitable agency, Zweig, Ramick and Associates, which she ran out of the decrease degree of her dwelling.
“She was unimaginable, however I let you know, she was powerful, actually powerful,” Leshner mentioned.
Zweig handed away in April 2015 and left detailed directions in her will for a way Leshner ought to distribute cash Zweig constructed from investing and the sale of her agency—to donate to a trigger targeted on college students with bodily disabilities.
Leshner mentioned it was vital to Zweig that the funds go towards supporting career-driven people with disabilities. Leshner was torn between whether or not to present the cash to Temple or JEVS Human Providers, a social service company in Philadelphia that gives training, coaching, well being and rehabilitation packages to assist disabled people statewide develop into employable and self-sufficient.
“I ended up choosing Temple College, however JEVS will proceed on after a disabled scholar graduates from Temple” and assist them discover housing and employment, she mentioned.
Leshner, who now manages the Jeanne Zweig Endowment Fund at Temple and the Jeanne Zweig Charitable Basis, which helps graduate college students with bodily disabilities discover employment and unbiased residing housing. Leshner mentioned her late aunt additionally donated yearly to Temple whereas she was alive and even paid to have wheelchair ramps put in across the campus.
Along with paying for career-planning help from JEVS, the endowment fund will present scholarships to college students and distribute $450,000 yearly to eligible candidates. Temple plans to start awarding the scholarships this coming fall.
“We’re so enthusiastic about this present, as a result of it actually does construct on the college’s mission and its energy,” mentioned Mary Burke, vice chairman for institutional development at Temple. “It’s one thing that may spur Temple to proceed to construct energy on this space.”
Rachel Stark, senior affiliate dean of scholars, mentioned the donation will permit Temple to financially assist extra college students with disabilities.
“Maybe for our college students who lack funding, that is going to utterly be a sport changer, particularly in that they’re going to have the ability to afford attendance,” she added.
Carrie Snyder, director of the college’s workplace of incapacity useful resource and providers, mentioned she was drawn to working at Temple due to the establishment’s view of incapacity as a variety situation and the quite a few providers it gives to college students with disabilities.
“That’s one thing that basically attracted me to Temple, and I believe that isn’t one thing that each college does. It will be nice if all of them did,” she mentioned.
Different establishments corresponding to Syracuse College, Miami College of Ohio and the College of Illinois at Chicago have created incapacity cultural facilities or affinity teams, however over all, efforts corresponding to these are unusual. Snyder famous that many establishments don’t view incapacity as being a variety situation and a part of an individual’s identification and the way they’re considered or recognized by others.
“Temple to me has a powerful scholar voice and in addition respects variety, and since they see incapacity as a part of that variety, that simply brings them to the forefront,” Snyder mentioned.
Temple has a historical past of being a frontrunner in supporting college students with disabilities. The Workplace of Incapacity Assets and Providers helps college students entry monetary assist, discover jobs and housing, and join with peer assist teams as a part of the workplace’s mission “to make sure that college students with a incapacity have full entry to the college expertise.”
The variety of college students with disabilities at Temple grew from 50 in 1977 to almost 3,500 in 2020, in accordance with Snyder.
“The dedication to accessibility is powerful right here at Temple, and because of the Jeanne Zweig Endowment, we’ll proceed to broaden the providers and alternatives accessible to our college students with disabilities,” she advised Temple Now.
The college has additionally been supported yearly by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Basis and obtained greater than $1.1 million for scholarships for college students with disabilities since 1981. Newcombe, who valued greater training, was unable to attend faculty due to a visible impairment. The inspiration additionally funds scholarships at Columbia, Penn State and Gallaudet Universities and 7 different establishments.
Temple’s Institute on Disabilities is without doubt one of the 67 College Facilities for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Schooling (UCEDD), which facilitates the stream of disability-related data between communities and universities. The institute is dwelling to TechOWL, an assistive know-how program, which serves folks with disabilities statewide.
“Temple has a deep set of packages for college students with disabilities, but in addition simply folks in the neighborhood, so it’s a extremely good match to have the scholarship come right here,” mentioned Tom Yates, govt director of present planning at Temple.
Completely different departments and faculties on the establishment are working with Temple’s Workplace of Incapacity Assets and Providers to make their areas and curricula extra accessible for college students with disabilities, in accordance with Snyder.
“I believe Temple realized with the intention to create a greater neighborhood for college students with disabilities, they should make the campus extra inclusive,” mentioned Aleong.