PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Temple University announced today that its world-class school of medicine will be named and dedicated in honor of late businessman and philanthropist Lewis Katz – a 1963 graduate of Temple, a longtime trustee and a steadfast benefactor of both the University and its School of Medicine.
Prior to Katz's untimely passing in May 2014, he had announced a $25 million gift to Temple University. His contribution is the largest single donation in Temple's history, and culminates a lifetime of generosity and advocacy from Katz on Temple's behalf.
"Lewis was an inspirational leader and a powerful force at Temple, and he will remain so," said Patrick O'Connor, chairman of Temple University's Board of Trustees. "Above all, he was a brilliant friend. With the naming of our medical school, we will remember and honor him eternally."
In an impassioned commencement address delivered to Temple graduates in spring 2014, Katz personalized a favorite quote from UCLA basketball coach John Wooden: "You can't live a perfect day unless you do something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
Temple University President Neil D. Theobald said today, "We may never be able to repay the kindness and generosity of Lewis Katz. Instead we will pay it forward by advancing the mission of the University that Lewis believed in so deeply, and by reinvesting in our students."
During Katz's 2014 graduation speech, which earned him national recognition from the North American Association of Commencement Officers, Katz memorably characterized Temple University as "recognized, respected and loved by its alumni." Those sentiments equally capture how Katz is regarded by those who knew him.
"As busy as he was, as entrepreneurial and successful as he was, from owning NBA teams to purchasing The Philadelphia Inquirer—Lewis Katz always, always made time for Temple University and for the School of Medicine in particular," said Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS, Dean of Temple University School of Medicine; President and CEO of Temple University Health System; and Senior Executive Vice President for Health Affairs for Temple University. "We are forever grateful."
Recognized, Respected, Loved: Lewis Katz School of Medicine
During today's celebration, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University will be commemorated before an invitation-only crowd of approximately 400 friends of the Katz Family and of Temple University. Drew Katz and Melissa Katz Silver, Lewis' son and daughter, will be honored guests at the ceremony.
Chairman Patrick O'Connor; President Neil D. Theobald; and Dr. Larry R. Kaiser are among the dignitaries paying tribute to Lewis Katz and the Katz Family. Other speakers include U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.; Dr. Rachel Levine, physician general, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker, of NJ.
School of Medicine Student Government Association President Adys Mendizabal will present Drew Katz and Melissa Katz Silver with a rare and vintage cast-iron owl, which formerly adorned the façade of the original (1930) Medical School Building for 85 years, before the Medical Education and Research Building (MERB) at 3500 North Broad Street was constructed in 2009. There are only eight such owls in existence.
A Katz Favorite: 'Straight No Chaser' Performs in Honor of Lewis Katz and the Katz Family
In addition to music provided by Temple's Boyer College of Music and Dance String Quartet, and a processional lead by select members of the Temple University marching band, attendees at the naming ceremony will be treated to a private concert from world-renowned a cappella performers, Straight No Chaser – Lewis Katz's all-time favorite musical group. He not only attended Straight No Chaser concerts repeatedly throughout his lifetime, but the Katz Family also has become personal friends with its members.
At the conclusion of the naming and dedication ceremony, three new and permanent changes to the MERB facility are scheduled for unveiling: Lewis Katz's favorite quote will be permanently added to the Dean's conference room wall; North Broad Street building signage bearing the Lewis Katz School of Medicine name will be installed; and a lobby portrait of Lewis Katz by Italian artist, Francesco Mernini, will be dedicated and displayed in the MERB lobby.
Earlier in the week, Temple University shared a preview of the new name with alumni during its October 10 annual homecoming and "Tailgate Row" event, handing out thousands of Cherry and White rally towels featuring the new Lewis Katz School of Medicine brand to Temple football fans. Additionally, current School of Medicine students, faculty, staff and neighborhood leaders participated in an open house and internal celebration on Monday, October 12 to acknowledge the new name, to honor Lewis Katz and the Katz Family and to herald the future of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine.
For more information about Lewis Katz and the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, visit www.temple.edu/medicine/katz.
About Temple Health & Temple University School of Medicine
Temple University Health System (TUHS) is a $1.6 billion academic health system dedicated to providing access to quality patient care and supporting excellence in medical education and research. The Health System consists of Temple University Hospital (TUH), ranked among the "Best Hospitals" in the region by U.S. News & World Report; TUH-Episcopal Campus; TUH-Northeastern Campus; Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center; Jeanes Hospital, a community-based hospital offering medical, surgical and emergency services; Temple Transport Team, a ground and air-ambulance company; and Temple Physicians, Inc., a network of community-based specialty and primary-care physician practices. TUHS is affiliated with Temple University School of Medicine.
Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM), established in 1901, is one of the nation's leading medical schools. Each year, the School of Medicine educates approximately 840 medical students and 140 graduate students. Based on its level of funding from the National Institutes of Health, Temple University School of Medicine is the second-highest ranked medical school in Philadelphia and the third-highest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. According to U.S. News & World Report, TUSM is among the top 10 most applied-to medical schools in the nation.
Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System (TUHS) and by Temple University School of Medicine. TUHS neither provides nor controls the provision of health care. All health care is provided by its member organizations or independent health care providers affiliated with TUHS member organizations. Each TUHS member organization is owned and operated pursuant to its governing documents.
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SOURCE Temple University Health System