When members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Temple College were looking for a project to take on for the 2020-2021 academic year, President Christina Ponce knew exactly what to suggest.

“How about helping the college launch a new alumni association?” she asked them.

The students agreed, and they dived into the project. Working under the direction of Dr. Evelyn Waiwaiole, vice president for development and executive director of the Temple College Foundation, they researched alumni associations at other community colleges and conducted a survey of Temple College graduates to gauge interest in a new alumni association. When the results of that survey were positive, the group moved forward with formally establishing the alumni association and appointing an advisory board for the group.

The new Temple College Alumni and Friends Association will be officially launched at the college’s 2021 commencement ceremony on May 15. All new graduates will receive a gift bag from the association as well as a free one-year membership.

“I’m really excited to see this group get started,” said Theresa Anthony, a PTK member who was instrumental in forming the new alumni association. “Having an active alumni group will be exciting for students and the community.”

Anthony is one of nine alumni and community members who are serving on the advisory board for the group.

Temple College has had alumni organizations in the past, but none have been active for a long time.

“The excitement is out there – we just need to build on it,” said PTK Advisor Michael Pilgrim.

For those who are not new graduates, memberships in the association will cost $20 per year. An individual lifetime membership can be purchased for $100 and a lifetime membership for couples can be purchased for $175. Alumni and friends who would like to join the association can do so at www.templejc.edu/alumni. The association also has a Facebook group that alumni can join.

Membership benefits for those who join the association include free admission to all Temple College athletic events and music performances, a 10% discount at the Temple College bookstore, and complimentary services at the Temple College Dental Hygiene Clinic. Local businesses such as the Beltonian Theatre are offering discounts to members, and the college is continuing to solicit benefits from local businesses. Any business that would like to offer a benefit to Temple College alumni should contact Waiwaiole at evelyn.waiwaiole@templejc.edu.

The association plans to begin in-person events in the fall, such as social events before athletics events.

The project earned members of the Temple College PTK chapter a Distinguished College Project Award at the 2021 PTK international conference.

“It has been wonderful to work with the Phi Theta Kappa students to develop the Temple College Alumni and Friends Association,” Dr. Waiwaiole said. “Together, with the students and now the advisory group, the association has a strong foundation and is ready to continue to build community with Lifelong Leopards.“