Posted March 31, 2015

Temple to confer three honorary degrees at 2015 Commencement

Malcolm Hoenlein, James Joo-Jin Kim and Kevin Negandhi celebrated for their outstanding achievements

  • Malcolm Hoenlein, CLA '65, earned his bachelor’s degree from Temple.
  • James Kim will receive his honorary doctorate of business.
  • ESPN’s SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi, SMC '98, is a Temple graduate.

Three prominent figures, with deep ties to the Philadelphia area, will be honored during Temple University’s 128th Commencement ceremony on May 8 at 10 a.m. in the Liacouras Center on Temple’s Main Campus in Philadelphia.

Malcolm Hoenlein, CLA ’65, and Kevin Negandhi, SMC ’98, both Temple alumni, and James Joo-Jin Kim will be honored for outstanding achievements and service.

“This year’s honorary degree recipients are highly successful national and international leaders and influencers,” said President Neil D. Theobald. “Our graduating students will be inspired and motivated by their extraordinary determination and achievement, and their take-charge approach to their careers and lives.”

Each year Temple confers honorary degrees to individuals who exemplify the highest professional, intellectual, humanitarian or artistic achievement and leadership.

“We are very proud to recognize three individuals whose values and triumphs truly embody the mission and ideals of our university,” Theobald said.

Malcolm Hoenlein, described as one of the most influential people in the U.S. and the most powerful Jewish leader in the Western world, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. He is frequently called upon by national and international leaders to consult about the State of Israel and Arab-Israeli relations. For nearly three decades, Hoenlein has been executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella organization on international and national concerns for 52 national Jewish organizations. Raised in Philadelphia, he received his BA in political science from Temple University and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of International Relations.

Executive chairman of Amkor Technology, Inc. and co-founder of Electronics Boutique, James Joo-Jin Kim will receive an honorary doctorate of business. Kim and his wife founded Electronics Boutique in 1977, and turned one kiosk in the King of Prussia Mall into an international corporation with 2,000 stores. They took the company public in 1998 and in 2005 it merged with GameStop. Amkor Technology, one of the world's leading suppliers of outsourced semiconductor packaging and test services, was based in the Philadelphia area for more than 30 years before relocating to Arizona. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, Kim worked for his father’s Korea-based company, Anam Electronics. He established Amkor as the U.S. base for Anam and grew it to a publicly traded $3.1 billion company.

Weekday morning anchor on ESPN’s flagship SportsCenter, Kevin Negandhi, will deliver the 2015 Commencement Address and receive an honorary doctorate of communication. Negandhi, who is from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, began his meteoric rise as a sports reporter while a student at Temple. He worked as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, stringer for USA Today, sports director of Temple's student-run newscast, Temple Update, and sports editor of The Temple News. After a successful career as anchor and director at several local TV stations, Negandhi landed at ESPN. The first anchor of Indian-American descent on a national sports network in American television history, Negandhi has also hosted other ESPN shows including Baseball Tonight, NFL Live, College Football Live and Outside the Lines.

- Hedy Taub Baker