Connecticut College Magazine · Summer 2010


College dedicates Green to Jean C. Tempel ´65

Visitors enjoy a shady spot in the new Outdoor Classroom on the Jean C. Tempel ´65 Green, dedicated on the Saturday of Commencement Weekend,. Photo by A. Vincent Scarano.

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College dedicates Green to Jean C. Tempel ´65

<b>College dedicates Green to Jean C. Tempel ´65</b>

by Barb Nagy

Jean C. Tempel ´65 (center) calls faculty “the heart and soul” of the College. Left to right: Jean C. Tempel ´65 Professor Emeritus of Botany Scott Warren; Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies Eugene Gallagher; Jean C. Tempel ´65 Professor of Biology Stephen Loomis; and Associate Professor of Computer Science Gary Parker.

The college´s most iconic space — the expanse of green with a breathtaking view of Long Island Sound — was dedicated May 22 to a woman whose leadership at a critical moment laid the groundwork for Connecticut College´s success today.

Jean C. Tempel ´65, a noted venture capitalist and former vice chair of the Board of Trustees, is the largest donor in the College´s history, with gifts and commitments of more than $15 million. She has endowed professorships and financed scholarships, helped create the College´s computer science program, and is a strong advocate and supporter of new science facilities.

In 1999, the College was faced with a major budget deficit and projections of large ongoing shortfalls. As chair of the Board´s Finance Committee, Tempel worked with fellow trustees, administrators and faculty leaders to change the College´s budget and spending practices. She also made a multimillion-dollar, gap-closing gift that helped the College through the transition.

“Jean Tempel made all the difference to the future of this College. Her leadership brings us to where we are today,” said James S. Berrien ´74, current chair of the Board.

Tempel Green — including a semicircular granite outdoor classroom — was dedicated under sunny skies the day before Commencement with speeches that oscillated between remembering past challenges and celebrating the College´s momentum today.

Tempel lauded the faculty for their collaborative role in repositioning the College. “You are the heart and soul of this fabulous institution,” she said. “That is why this corner has been built to be a classroom — to honor these dedicated, committed and student-centric faculty.”
Tempel also praised President Lee Higdon. “You have brought sound, solid management, with vision and enthusiasm; engaged students; and challenged the whole College community to new levels of success,” she said.

Tempel challenged alumni to invest in the College. “Donations can be a one-ended transaction,” she said. “Investment requires follow-on, going back and building the vision, enhancing the effort and working together to make the College better for many generations to come.”
Professor Candace Howes, who led a key campus committee in the late 1990s, praised Tempel for her “extraordinary generosity and enduring love” for the College. Tempel´s faith and openness is a key reason why the College thrives today, said Howes, the Barbara Hogate Ferrin ´43 Professor of Economics.

Later, Dean of the Faculty Roger Brooks presented Tempel with a proclamation in her honor voted unanimously by the faculty.

Higdon thanked Tempel on behalf of the College. “The long sweep of Tempel Green before us represents the promise of this institution. It is viewed by many as the truest representation of the College,” he said. “No one understands the promise of Connecticut College more than you. It is so right that it carries your name.”

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