School of Media and Communication to Be Renamed in Honor of Lew Klein

Lew Klein, center, with wife Janet, Dean David Boardman, and Temple Alum Bob Saget at the NATPE Conference.
Lew Klein, center, with wife Janet, Dean David Boardman, and Temple Alum Bob Saget at the NATPE Conference.

Lew Klein will be honored by the National Association of Television Program Executives with the Lifetime Achievement Award this evening in Miami.

But today, he is honored by Temple’s School of Media and Communication.

Temple University announced today that the School of Media and Communication will be renamed the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication, honoring Klein’s generosity and years of service to Temple.

“Lew is the rare benefactor whose service to our school extends beyond his generous financial support to include decades of teaching and mentoring, both of Temple students and of working professionals. Naming the school to recognize all of his contributions is our honor,” said Dean David Boardman in a statement announcing the school’s new name.

The renaming honors Klein’s magnificent career in television and his more than six decades of teaching service to Temple University, and recognizes a historic, multimillion-dollar gift to the school from Lew and Janet Klein, the university said in a statement. The Kleins’ gift is supported by two additional seven-figure contributions from Temple University trustee and school alumnus Steve Charles, ’80, and trustee H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest and his wife, Marguerite.

“Thinking about the thousands of communications scholars who will graduate in future years, I am optimistic about their success,” said Mr. Klein in a university statement. “They will be coming from one of the finest and most prestigious schools in the nation.”

“I have been blessed with other examples of appreciation and recognition at Temple, and this is the culmination go them all.”

Klein has been an adjunct professor at the school for over 60 years. In 2000, in celebration of Lew’s 50 years teaching at Temple University, the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award was established. The awards and scholarship program were established by H.F. “Gerry” and Marguerite Lenfest with Walter and Leonore Annenberg to celebrate outstanding members of the media and students pursuing internships or study abroad opportunities in their chosen media field. This past fall, Tina Fey received the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award.

Amongst other career endeavors, Mr. Klein owned 4 CBS affiliates in Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia, and was the executive producer of American Bandstand. He was also program director at WPVI in 1970, when Action News was launched, a format that continues to bring 6ABC success.

Klein is credited with helping to launch careers of comedian and actor Bob Saget (’78), CBS Evening News Executive Producer Steve Capus (’86), NBC news anchor Matt Lauer, and the late Dick Clark. After broadcasting the Phillies for 15 years, he even convinced players such as Richie Ashburn, Bill White, and Tim McCarver to trade the dugout for the press box.

“Over many decades, Lew Klein has left an indelible imprint on the lives of countless Temple students who have gone on to build successful careers in media, communication and related fields,” said President Richard M. Englert. “It’s only fitting that we recognize Lew in an equally indelible way: through the naming of the Klein College of Media and Communication in honor of the legacy he has built in Philadelphia and across the nation.”

A formal renaming ceremony will take place sometime in March, and will be one of many events held in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the college.

Temple Update would like to congratulate Mr. Klein on his Lifetime Achievement Award, and we are honored to call the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication our home.

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