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Kal and Lucille Rudman. Photo: Temple University
Kal and Lucille Rudman. Photo: Temple University

Remembering two philanthropic pillars who donated millions to charitable causes

Kal and Lucille Rudman, founders of the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation, passed away two days apart, both at the age of 91. 

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When it comes to philanthropic leaders in Philadelphia and throughout the Delaware Valley, it’s impossible not to mention the names of Kal and Lucille Rudman.

Their contributions to philanthropic causes go nearly unmatched. The couple, who was married for over 63 years, donated millions of dollars over the years to worthy causes.

To enhance this effort, the Rudmans launched The Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation, a philanthropic community organization that gives financial support to programs and causes, primarily in the fields of education and public safety. 

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation were Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication and Temple University Television (TUTV). 

“Kal and Lucille Rudman had a profound impact on the Klein College of Media and Communication. Without their generous support, Temple University Television — named by its peers a few years ago as the best college television station in the nation — would likely not exist,” said Klein College Dean David Boardman, in a statement.

Paul Gluck, TUTV general manager and close friend of the Rudmans, praised the couple for believing in the potential of Temple students, as well as TUTV’s commitment to aspiring media professionals. 

“When I think of them in the years ahead, I will recall their unending enthusiasm to help others, our late night phone calls about the progress our students are making, and a whole lot of laughter," he said. 

With nearly $4 million in donations, the Rudmans established the Kal and Lucille Media Production Center, and contributed to several initiatives, such as the TUTV Special Projects Fund, the Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards Fund, the Maxine Edelson Elkin Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Klein College Lab/Class Improvements Fund. 

“The Rudmans' contributions mean that for years to come, we can prepare Temple students to be superb media professionals,” added Boardman. 

Beyond Temple, the Rudman’s charitable work includes donating $25,000 a year to fund college scholarships to graduates of the “Health Tech” career development program that puts Olney High School students at St. Christopher’s to give them experience and confidence; providing scholarships for hundreds of Philadelphia police officers to take courses at the Community College of Philadelphia; and more.

Born in 1930 in Philadelphia, Mr. Rudman graduated from Central High School before earning a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in education from Temple. 

Before he was known for his philanthropy, he spent his days working as a teacher and nights as a disc jockey in Camden. 

His career in the industry saw him become Billboard magazine’s first R&B editor before he began his first music industry trade publication, the Friday Morning Quarterback. He later went on to create five other music publications.

Mr. Rudman also worked 12 years with what was then the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), as an announcer and broadcaster named, “Killer Kal.”

In 2011, Mr. Rudman was named to Temple’s Klein College Alumni Hall of Fame. 

Lucille Rudman also started her career as a teacher, before joining her husband’s philanthropic endeavors.

The Rudmans' foundation reported net assets of $5.2 million in 2019, which is the last year its federal tax returns are publicly available. Nearly $400,000 that year was donated to support schools, health care facilities, universities and The Citizens Crime Commission.

While Mr. and Mrs. Rudman passed away on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, respectively, their names and legacies will live on for generations to come.

This all due to the charitable work they’ve done and the countless lives they have positively impacted over the years. 

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