Temple U. gets $5-million gift in the mail

February 5, 2008 8:26:36 PM PST
The checks to Temple University really were in the mail - for $5 million. It was a total surprise for the school to receive the anonymous donations, which arrived in a pair of nondescript envelopes sent via U.S. mail from a bank in Arizona, said Stuart Sullivan, Temple's senior vice president for institutional advancement.

One envelope contained a $1 million bank check for the university to use however it chooses, Sullivan told The Associoated Press on Tuesday. The second held a $4 million check to endow a scholarship for women and minorities.

The envelopes were addressed to a development office staff member, who was completely stunned when she opened them on Thursday, Sullivan said. He guessed the donors must have found the staff member's name on a Web site or on a fundraising brochure.

"She had never seen checks of that size anytime in her lifetime," Sullivan said. "It was quite a thrill for her."

The school contacted the bank to try to find out more, but the donors insisted on remaining anonymous, Sullivan said. They just asked for the school to give them periodic reports on how the money is being used.

The donations come at a serendipitous time, as Temple is the midst of its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign. With these gifts, the school has raised about $285 million of its $350 million goal, he said.

Temple is located in Philadelphia and enrolls about 35,000 students.