The traditional symbol of the University is the Temple T. Early in his administration, President Peter J. Liacouras chose this particular version of a representational T which was created by students at the Tyler School of Art.
The T is stylized, geometric and logo-like and yet maintains a basic, identifiable form - a simple T, but one which is at the same time both simple and complex. It is really a kind of optical illusion.
Close examination of the T reveals that it is made up of four separate and quite simple forms, three of which have classic, angular shapes, the two side pieces - pillar-like, being identical, and set on a flat base, and so arranged as to produce a simple T within the larger more complicated T.
The design is further dramatized by being set in a block of solid cherry with the four white components placed so as to form a fragmented T surrounding a simple T in cherry which flows into a cherry red background.
The owl is the symbol and mascot for Temple University and has been since its founding in the 1880's. Temple was the first school in the United States to adopt the owl as its symbol. Not as popular a mascot as the eagle or hawk, the owl nevertheless has special meaning for students at a dozen other four-year colleges and seven two-year colleges as well. However, only Rice University in Houston, Texas, plays football at the Division I-A level.
Story has it that the owl, a nocturnal hunter, was initially adopted as a symbol because Temple University began as a night school for ambitious young people of limited means. Russell Conwell, Temple's founder, encouraged these students with the remark: "The owl of the night makes the eagle of the day."
Since those modest beginnings more than a hundred years ago, the owl's role and significance have expanded along with those of the University. The owl, in its splendid variety, inhabits all parts of the world. The Temple Owl is Everywhere!
The owl is accepted as a universal symbol for wisdom and knowledge and as such makes an excellent symbol and emblem for a center of learning. It must be remembered that the owl was the symbol of Athena, who was not only the goddess of wisdom, but was also the goddess of arts and skills and even of warfare. Because of its other attributes, the owl also makes an appropriate mascot for the athletic teams. Besides being perceptive and resourceful, quick and courageous, the owl is really a fierce fighter.
The Many Faces of the Owl:
|The Game Face
|The Aggressive Owl
|The Screaming Owl
|The Dominant Owl
Cherry & White
Well known is the fact that the official colors of Temple University are cherry and white. Temple University was the first school in the nation officially to use cherry as one of its colors, certainly by the year 1888.
The combination of red with white is quite common, but cherry with white is almost unique. Only one other school now uses cherry and white: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Cherry is so uncommon a color nationwide that the University of New Mexico seems to be the only other large University using cherry as one of its colors, and the Lobos use it with silver, not white.
Since cherry as a color has many gradations, just what the precise color is has raised questions over the years. Cherry, or cerise, which was the somewhat popular word used in earlier days, is considered by most dictionaries to be a moderate red, but one that can range from bright red to dark red. For this reason, a conscious effort has been made to standardize the color for athletic teams to somewhere near that of a ripe and bright American black cherry.
Onward with Temple,
Banners all unfurled;
Wide flung our standards,
To the winds they're hurlded.
Following our Founder
To immortal Fame;
Making true his vision,
Of a deathless name.
Hail! Alma Mater,
Honor, praise to Thee;
We pledge our lives,
Our hearts in loyalty.
Wisdom, Truth and Virtue
Built our Temple great;
Higher to create.
"T" for Temple "U"
Fight, fight, fight!
For the Cherry and the White,
For the Cherry and the White,
We'll fight, fight, fight!
Research and copy by George Edberg-Olson.