Steve Charles

Philanthropic Leader

With $2 million gift from alumnus Steve Charles, KLN ’80, Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication has established the Steve Charles Chair in Media, Cities and Solutions. It marks the school’s first individually supported donor-endowed academic chair and the largest one-time gift in its history. Learn more about what inspired Charles to make this gift below.

Ryan Rinaldi 

Growing up on a farm in Lancaster County and transferring from Eastern Mennonite University, Temple represented a turning point for Steve Charles. “Although my family wasn’t very excited to see me move to Philadelphia, it didn’t take long to realize I had made the right choice,” Charles recalls. “Temple allowed me to expand my horizons.”

Like many Temple Made Owls, Charles was ready and determined to make his mark in the world after graduation. After ten years in the advertising business, he landed a job in DC that involved selling to the government. He immediately realized this was a different world that was going to take immediate education. No stranger to working hard, his days were spent in the office, evenings in the classroom, and weekends were for writing papers and proposals. Charles went on to have a successful career as the co-founder of immixGroup, a firm that helps technology companies grow their business with the federal government.

When Charles began to think of his philanthropic goals, Temple was top of mind. “I have always believed in Temple’s founding mission of accessibility and educational excellence.” In 2011, Charles formed the Steve Charles Endowed Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is open to Klein College of Media and Communication (KLN) incoming freshman with financial need and an interest in studying business and entrepreneurship.

More recently, Charles made a $2 million gift to establish the new Steve Charles Endowed Chair in Media, Cities and Solutions, which aims to make a positive difference in our cities. “This concept of training folks to look for solutions in our cities – not just happy, feel-good stories, but real, repeatable solutions – is something that I feel so good about,” Charles said. Establishing a chair that could have this sort of community impact was especially important to Charles, who after transferring to Temple from rural Lancaster County took a particular interest in urban problems and solutions.

“The new position will enable a faculty member and students to explore how media can help identify potential solutions to some of the seemingly intractable challenges facing cities today,” said KLN Dean David Boardman.

“At the highest level, I’m just so happy about my involvement with Temple,” Charles said. “The idea of providing affordable, can-do education that has a liberal arts orientation, but is also relevant to employers’ needs, is just a magical mix. It’s great to see Temple leading and being able to do things that we all know are possible. I’m happy to be contributing towards Temple’s future as one of the university’s philanthropic leaders.”

Temple was there for Charles at a critical time in his life. It’s inspiring to see how he is now there for Temple at a momentous time in our history. We thank Steve Charles for investing in the future of Temple, and for his commitment to making a positive difference in our cities.

You, too, can play a part in sustaining Temple’s future. Please consider making a gift to Temple today.

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