For PNC Bank, giving to Temple University has been a company priority for more than forty years. With support from companies like PNC, Temple is able to attract and shape the next generation of leaders and change makers. We sat down with PNC Regional President Paula Fryland to learn more about PNC’s approach to giving.
Why is philanthropy an important goal for PNC?
One of our core goals is building up and being an integral part of the community in which we do business. But when we think about philanthropy, it’s almost always through the lens of something that isn’t a direct benefit to our company. It needs to be for the sake of the organization that we will be able to assist. You know the old saying: a rising tide lifts all boats. So of course when we have healthy, vibrant, inclusive communities in which we do business, we do well as part of that, too. And I think we’ve become very clear over the last ten years about how important it is to us to know that our philanthropy is having real impact.
And, one of the ways we can ensure that our giving is having real impact is by concentrating some of our philanthropy--PNC is very focused on education and early childhood development in particular through a program called PNC Grow Up Great. In fact, we endowed a professorship in early childhood education because of the great work of the institution, and how much those efforts coincided with our deep commitment to early childhood development as a corporate citizen.
There’s no time like the present to give. Why is this a good time to give to Temple?
The wonderful thing about being involved with Temple at this juncture in history is, you’re going to be giving to an organization that really has an incredible track record of building an influential program. It is, I would say, one of the rising stars by any measure. And, it’s still very much in an area of this community that continues to need support and advancement. North Philadelphia really benefits from a lot of very specific economic development initiatives. And core to that is Temple. So, a lot of our activities and philanthropy focus on being a part of what the university is doing to lift the communities in North Philadelphia, as well as being a part of helping Temple deliver well-rounded, educated citizens.
Banks of course know the value of investing. Why is Temple a good investment?
There are many alumni from Temple who work for PNC. In fact, in recent years Temple has become one of our key recruiting campuses. We have a handful of development programs for university graduates for our corporate banking group, for our retail banking team, and other areas. So not only do we have a lot of alums but we’re going to be having more and more of them over time as they become a big part of our growth strategy with our talent development.
How would you convince other companies or professional organizations to invest in Temple? That to me is the core of our future as a community, as a country, as a company. We have to continue to invest in education for all ages, clearly, to make sure that we remain competitive in a global economy. But also making sure that education is looking at how to be as inclusive as it can be to reach as many students as possible. It’s very important that the business community work closely with the university community, and with education in general, to be sure that we all understand what the needs of the future are going to be and we help make the programs that will answer those needs through universities like Temple. I honestly can’t think of anything that would be more valuable. But education is a big universe, so it’s all about each company, each entity, and each individual finding that part of the continuum where they feel they can have the most impact.