University’s largest graduating class is now wholly Temple Made
For members of Temple University’s class of 2013, the 126th Annual Commencement Exercises presented a chance to reflect on their achievements and celebrate what it means to be Temple Made.
At a morning ceremony on Thursday, May 16, in the Liacouras Center, the university graduated its largest class, with more than 9,000 students eligible to receive degrees. The cohort included degree candidates from 57 different countries, 49 states and 54 Pennsylvania counties.
Presiding over his first Commencement as Temple University president, Neil D. Theobald challenged graduates to consider the larger role their accomplishments have on greater society. Quoting Thomas Jefferson, he noted that as Temple graduates they have received an asset that has significant public value.
"Your education here has prepared you to contribute meaningfully to the prosperity and progress of this commonwealth, this nation and the world,” said the president. “You will make countless vitally important contributions to society, and ... your time at university will help to 'advance the happiness of mankind.’”
Also addressing the graduates were College of Education Professor and President of the Faculty Senate Joan P. Shapiro, student speaker Joseph B. Stoney, university Trustee William H. Cosby, Jr., and Trustee John Campolongo, president of the Temple University Alumni Association. Boyer College of Music graduate Julian Terrell Otis sang a moving rendition of the national anthem, and the invocation was provided by Rev. Kevin R. Johnson, pastor of neighboring Bright Hope Baptist Church. The Temple Commencement Band performed compositions befitting of the day’s majestic traditions.
The university awarded honorary degrees to alumni Pallam Raju M. Mallipudi, cabinet minister of India for Human Resources Development, and the late Frank Albert Cotton, a preeminent figure in the field of inorganic chemistry, who was awarded the degree posthumously.
Also awarded an honorary degree was Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick J. O'Connor. After offering thanks to those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, members of the university's Board of Trustees and family members in attendance, O'Connor reminded graduates that they have now joined a distinctive community of Temple alumni.
"Come back here often," said O'Connor. “Never forget you are Temple Made. And that, my dear graduates, makes you ready for the world!"
Many Temple graduates seemed to agree. Speaking before the ceremony, College of Education degree recipient Justin Hall said he felt humbled to have finally achieved this milestone.
"It's really great to see how we all worked really hard these last four years or even longer, and to finally see it coming to an end and that we're all moving forward into our future careers," he said. "Being Temple Made means that I'm prepared and I'm ready to go into the real world.”