11 Hints You’re Around Temple Alumni

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Believe it or not, there are easier ways to spot Temple alum aside from the obvious red and white hoodie or bumper sticker. Temple students have taken part in traditions that far surpass their time at school.  Take a look at 11 ways to fish former Owls out of a crowd.

1. They have Dunkin Donuts PTSD

Every Temple coffee drinker finds his way to the worst Dunkin Donuts ever erected, and convenience and deals lead him back time after time. What makes it so bad? Employees fill orders at their own discretion. Want a latte? Here’s a cup full of syrup and hot milk. No cheese? Whoops. Too late, it’s already on your breakfast sandwich. Aside from bad service, it’s actually run out of donuts and coffee. If you want coffee and are with someone who went to Temple, head to Starbucks to avoid summoning dark memories.

2. They say “cherry”

To a Temple student, it is a sin to say the school colors are red and white. If you make the faux pas in the presence of alumni, expect the indignant correction, “No, it’s cherry and white.” Since it could be considered the accent color of campus, it essentially becomes part of a Temple student’s subconscious. So, if that guy next to you on the street accidentally calls fire engine red “cherry,” now you know why.

3. They know what a Fresh Grocer is

Ever hear of a dirty, overpriced, Shop Rite-knock off, Fresh Grocer? Of course you haven’t, but anyone who went to Temple has. Temple alum didn’t just shop at Fresh Grocer, they had a full-on complicated relationship with it for years. Fresh Grocer makes you pay a solid two dollars more for every name brand item, but keeps you coming back with cheap generic pizza and toilet paper. No Temple alumni could ever forget their time spent with the only barely-functional grocery store on campus.

4. They’re unfazed by the Philly Subway System

Because Temple is slightly off of the city grid, the subway is a must. Students learn pretty quickly that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is just one big urine and debauchery-filled adventure. Not everyone is cut out for brawling with a token machine or the feeling of sheer and total panic when accidentally boarding the North-bound express train. Temple alum, though? They’ve been there way too many times, and have basically become the ninjas of the Philadelphia public transit system.

5. They’ll eat 7-11 food

Anyone familiar with Temple knows that 7-11 monopolizes the convenience store game. After getting over the initial shock of the lack of Wawa and the 24-hour deliciousness it entails, every Temple student has to learn how to survive on ambiguously-aged and greasy 7-11 finds. Pretty soon, taquitos and $5 pizza become the golden tickets to drunken happiness and the answer to that quick meal after a long day of classes or studying. It takes true power to tolerate the food, but Temple alum are one of the lucky few groups who can do it even years after leaving campus.

 6. They’ll say different school slogans

If you ask anyone who went to Penn State what their slogan is, they will always answer, “We Are Penn State.” But Temple’s slogan varies from person to person. You’ll hear “Temple Made,” “We the T” or “Take Charge,” amongst other lesser known proclamations. Considering Temple is one of the only schools that doesn’t have that quintessential statement, this question will always confuse alum.

7. They’ll talk about C-List celebrities at parties

Remember Hall and Oates, the two-man band that had about three hits in the ‘80s? Or how about Bob Saget, the doting dad on Full House? All three are Temple alumni. Other Temple alumni find it extremely entertaining to casually bring up these basically defunct stars. So, if you’re ever in a social setting with people you don’t know, and that one guy is blabbering on about how he went to the same school as the two dudes who sang “You Make My Dreams Come True,” congratulations, you’re talking to a former Owl.

8. They’re Good Samaritans

Temple, admittedly, is located in a less-than-ideal part of Philadelphia. For this reason, students come across needy and homeless people on a daily basis. There’s a good chance that those people you see around the city giving spare change or buying someone a hot meal without a blink of an eye are Temple alum.

9. They’re the Best Happy Hour Guides

Despite its urban locale, Temple doesn’t have the liveliest social scene when it comes to clubs and bars. Temple students go out of their way to find the best haunts, which means a lot of time spent searching long and hard around the city. By graduation, Temple students know the trendiest little dives and where to find killer deals. So before you go and buy a travel guide or waste time combing through the Internet, find some Temple alum to point you in the right direction.

10. They Identify with their Major Program

You won’t hear how alum graduated from the university itself, but rather what individual school or program they have their degree from. A Tyler School of Art student is an entirely different breed than a Fox School of Business kid. Picture Divergent and you basically have a good idea… All alum co-existed peacefully, but allegiance is first and foremost to the factions.

11. They’re Okay With You Being Different

Temple University screams diversity. On one side of campus, a man preaches about God and the fiery gates of Hell, and on the other a group protests for minority rights.  The campus is a tiny bubble slammed in the middle of an already-established community; students from around the world live among those who have spent their entire lives in the area. After coexisting with so many different types of people for four years, it’s hard not to be tolerant.


I'm a Philadelphia native and a junior Journalism major at Temple University. Philly is my home, and it's my goal as a writer to show the world what it has to offer.

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