Edna S. Tuttleman

Biography

Deceased December 18, 2013

Like the cherry blossoms that take over campus each spring, Edna S. Tuttleman came into her own while a Temple University undergraduate student. “I guess I just blossomed at Temple,” Tuttleman told the Temple News in a past interview. Casting aside expected gender roles far ahead of her time, Tuttleman became Temple’s first female class president in 1939 as a sophomore. Not one for beginner’s luck, she was also elected president in her junior and senior years.

Wanting more for her life than that of a traditional homemaker, Tuttleman graduated in 1942 from the School of Commerce—now the Fox School of Business. From there, she hurdled many professional obstacles that for women at her time were widely accepted as simply fact. During World War II, she enlisted in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), a brand new branch of the Navy. A natural leader, Tuttleman was sent to Smith College for officer training and worked her way up to the rank of lieutenant (junior grade). While in Boston, she was assigned to encode and decode secret communications until the war ended. With her military service behind her, Tuttleman returned to Philadelphia and enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts on the G.I. Bill. She later became an ardent supporter of the arts, both as a collector and benefactor, endowing the directorship of PAFA in 1990. In 1953, Edna married Stanley Tuttleman, who amassed a fortune in clothing manufacturing. She helped run the design operations for women’s clothing at one of the family’s businesses, the Corner House, for two decades. Eventually, Corner House was sold to The Limited. In her free time, Tuttleman raised five children. The Tuttleman name is hard to miss on Temple’s campus, as generous gifts from Edna and Stanley have made possible the Tuttleman Learning Center, Tuttleman Counseling Center, and much of Main Campus’ learning hub. In Philadelphia, the family is associated with the Tuttleman Center at Philadelphia University, the Tuttleman Library at Gratz College, the Tuttleman IMAX Theater at the Franklin Institute, the Tuttleman Center at Graduate Hospital, and the Edna Tuttleman Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Contemporary Art. “When I look at the faces of Temple students, I feel instantly connected with them,” said Tuttleman at the opening of the Tuttleman Learning Center in 1999. “It’s a blessing to be able to help the university with its valiant efforts.”

Temple University Degree
Bachelor of Science ’42, Fox School of Business

Title & Company
Former Navy Lieutenant, Collector & Benefactor

Temple University Awards & Affiliatons

  • Inaugural Inductee, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute—League for Entrepreneurial Women’ 03-04
  • Alumni Distinguished Service Award ‘98
  • Certificate of Honor Award ’95, General Alumni Association
  • Acres of Diamond Circle
  • Chairman’s Circle, Former
  • Honoree Life Trustee
  • Trustee, Former