Steve Charles Speaks at Library Dedication

Steve Charles Speaks at Library Dedication


– I wish I could repeat all
the thanks and recognition that everyone else, that
all the other speakers said. I just echo all of that. This process has allowed me
to get to know so many people of the Temple community. And it’s been a really rich experience. Every time I have a
conversation with a student, a faculty member, a dean,
people in the administration, fellow trustees, I’m inspired. And so I envision this place
becoming the public square where more of those kinds
of conversations will occur. I’m excited when I think
about the, literally, it will be hundreds of
thousands of students who come through here, over
this building’s lifetime. Maybe even millions, I’m not sure. The numbers are really high. We have no idea what may come of the ideas and collaborations that will be sparked here. I also hope that this
place, given its design, much like the modern
workspaces, will become a place where we will model the
behavior that future employers will want to see in graduates, graduates in the knowledge economy and the creative economies. Those economies of the future that require the kinds of skills that we
can model here in this space. President Englert, I didn’t
realize that I arrived one year after you did, 1977. I had been working as a
photographer’s assistant out in Lancaster, and when I
told him that I had decided to come to Temple University
to major in communications, he asked, “What will
you communicate about?” (audience laughs) I didn’t have an answer,
but it planted a seed. And so when I started looking
through course catalogs, I ended up looking at every school and seeing how the curricula
built and how disciplines were organized and how
things come together. And I kinda wanted to take
a class in everything. And I kinda did. My advisor referred to it
as the horizontal track. (audience laughs) It wasn’t a compliment. (laughs) But it did set me on a path
of learning that was oriented around synthesizing and
realizing that we have deep expertise, disciplines,
traditions associated with every one of those disciplines, that reside here in our
17 schools and colleges. And we need to keep those strong. That just wasn’t me. And because I tend to want to
look across and connect things and think about the future. And so I have that orientation. So when I look at the Temple T, I see a vertical, narrow and deep, anchor, scientific research, scholarship, but I also see a horizontal. And this place represents
the coming together of those vertical and horizontal
disciplines and activities. That’s why when I started
talking with Dean Lucia at a Christmas party, I immediately said, “Oh, this is what it’s about.” A second piece of what
this is about for me is the fact that my career ended up in information
technology, business systems, automation, taking the
friction out of processes, making things work
faster and more smoothly. And this place is a lot about
that kind of activity too. Because our students now,
they’re digital natives. They expect our back office to just work. And that begins with an
interdisciplinary approach to unifying our vision and
our practices for the future. I live in D.C., my business
was about doing that for federal government agencies. Talk about connecting
silos, big deep silos. We can do the same here at Temple. And this place is the emblem of that. So, here we are at the
intersection, again that word, of Liacouras and Polett,
within eyesight of names like Paley and O’Connor and Sullivan. I just gotta tell you, I’m
humbled to be in this company and to have been part of
this with so many people who made it a success. I also especially wanna thank the people who thought longterm and
made those decisions long ago to do something this big. That takes a real courage, and
staying power, perseverance. Thanks too for the public officials. We are a public good, that’s our mission. And I for one am committed
to doing everything I can to help promote that. As Chairman Morgan says, “All
our of Owls, current and past, “will be inspired by
this spectacular visual “and what it means for the
university moving forward.” I hope we can all do our part
to live up to that image. So thanks again, all of you. It’s been a real pleasure
getting to know everyone and being more involved here at Temple. Thank you. (audience applauds)

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