Brutus was a beloved golden retriever certified therapy dog belonging to Associate Professor of Journalism Karen M. Turner (she/her). He was known throughout Annenberg Hall for his many guest appearances at college events as well as impromptu visits that lifted the spirits of students, faculty and staff. Now, Turner is ensuring Brutus' memory and joyful spirit lives on through a term fund. This award, the Brutus Turner Community Service Award, will be presented to one rising sophomore, junior or senior each year who has shown outstanding commitment to volunteer work in the Temple University and North Philadelphia communities. 

"The day I put him down I was looking at a lot of pictures, and I woke up the next morning and I was like, 'I need to do something,'" Turner said. 

She was inspired after taking a trip to Starbucks, a daily ride that she and Brutus usually enjoyed together before he passed. After Turner ordered her drink, she was surprised to find that the customer ahead of her had already paid for her drink in a "random act of kindness." This small but selfless act seemed like just the sort of thing that would have made Brutus' tail wag, and so Turner was inspired to create an award to pay it forward and celebrate students who perform acts of kindness through community service and involvement.

"I'm hoping that students will become familiar with the award, they will maybe look forward to getting the award, and hopefully it will encourage students to do community projects and get involved with North Philly, get involved through Temple doing some projects," she said.

Brutus was well beloved throughout Klein College of Media and Communication, and so Turner wanted to reflect that by offering the award to students of any major. Director for Global Opportunities Allie Miller (she/her) was a particularly avid Brutus fan, and even named him an Unofficial Peer Advisor for the Office of Global Opportunities (Klein GO).

"There is no greater moment in time than when Brutus is hanging out with you in your office," Miller said. "It's like time stands still when he's around because he's so happy to see you; he makes you happy."

She went on to explain that Brutus was the perfect peer advisor because their role is to help students to feel special, important and understood, and Brutus was excellent at making everyone feel included. A friendly dog and a "leaner," Brutus was there for even the shiest students.

"All the students were happy to see him and spend some time with him during this stressful time. He would work his way around the room letting everyone pet him," said Building Operations Coordinator Bill Burkeitt, another friend of Brutus' in life. "He brought a smile to every student who met him. It was wonderful that Karen shared her special dog with us."

The Brutus Turner Community Service Award is being awarded for the first time in 2022.

To learn more about establishing a scholarship or supporting Klein students in other ways, please contact Karen Gallagher, assistant dean, development and alumni relations at karen.gallagher@temple.edu or go to giving.temple.edu/kleincollege.