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 Associated 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 stunned when she opened them on Thursday, Sullivan said.
"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.
Temple is in Philadelphia and has about 35,000 students.