Russell Conwell and the Founding of Temple College

Russell Conwell seated at a desk

The idea of Temple University originated with Reverend Russell Conwell when a young man in his congregation wanted to study for the ministry but could not afford to take time away from his job. Conwell offered to tutor him in the evening and soon had a class of seven students in similar circumstances. By 1887, Conwell had convinced the members of the congregation and others in the community to start "…an Educational Institution intended primarily for the benefit of Working Men; and for young men and women desirous of attending the same." Although this institution shared the name of the (Baptist) Temple church, it was administered separately and was non-sectarian.

This Web site will present the history of Temple University with items from the Conwellana-Templana Collection (the University Archives).