In early 2018, Temple University Ambler Alumnus and longtime campus and Ambler Arboretum supporter Philip Albright issued a challenge.
If faculty, students, staff and friends of the campus could raise $25,000 for the Ambler Arboretum by the end of the year, he’d match it dollar for dollar.
"My primary goal with the challenge was to bring greater attention to the Arboretum; to get people involved and invested in its future," said Albright, founding and current Chair of the Ambler Arboretum Advisory Committee and a former chair of the Ambler Campus Board of Visitors. "The Arboretum is very valuable teaching tool, a unique resource with so much to offer and so much potential."
Challenge met and surpassed by nearly $5,000!
Thanks to the response from donors invested in the future of the Ambler Arboretum, Temple Ambler reached Albright’s goal in half the time. By the end of June, nearly $30,000 had been raised prompting Albright to donate a further $5,000. The challenge has now provided almost $60,000 to support Arboretum operations and programming.
“The response was immediate, enduring and well beyond our expectations! I think this challenge really got people excited about supporting the Arboretum — Phil’s commitment to the campus inspired others to do the same,” said Kathy Salisbury, Director of the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University. “We are very grateful for the decades of support Phil and his wife Barbara have given to the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University and the Ambler Campus.”
Salisbury said the funding will help support general operations and community programming around the Ambler Arboretum.
“With this funding, we hope to focus on further developing and implementing excellent programming in addition to supporting the upkeep of the gardens,” she said. “We hope to expand our monthly programs, engaging with schools to visit the Arboretum for classes, educational lectures on sustainable gardening and horticulture and more. Our goal is to create a cohesive and meaningful educational experience for visitors.”
Over the decades since Albright first set foot on Temple University Ambler in 1986 to study Landscape Design, he and his wife Barbara have involved themselves in countless community organizations and charities, selflessly giving their time to brighten the lives of others and enhance the community in general.
“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,” said Albright. “I'm very pleased with how the challenge went and how many people we willing to lend their support.”
The Albrights have generously contributed to the momentum that Temple Ambler has been experiencing throughout 2018, said Dr. Vicki Lewis McGarvery, Vice Provost for University College. It’s up to the campus community to follow their lead, she said.
“Phil and Barbara have been champions of Temple Ambler for decades and we can’t thank them enough for their support, generosity and Phil’s leadership roles on our Board of Visitors and Ambler Arboretum Advisory Committee,” she said. “The hard work of the Ambler faculty and staff and the incredible talents of our students has been noticed, as has the increased level of giving to support the campus. We look forward to keeping that momentum going!”