Temple University President Neil D. Theobald recently visited Rome, and he took the message of Temple’s approach to addressing Philadelphia’s needs and opportunities with him.
Theobald was a featured speaker at “A Socio-Cultural Analysis of U.S. Families: The Reality of Philadelphia,” a symposium hosted by Temple University Rome and the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.
The symposium focused on Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia this summer for the World Meeting of Families. Kenneth F. Hackett, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, also participated in the event.
While Theobald praised Philadelphia’s great momentum—in addition to hosting the pope later this year, the city will be home to the Democratic National Convention in 2016—he pointed out that Philadelphia is the poorest of the nation’s 10 largest cities, with almost 40 percent of children living in poverty.
Theobald said Temple provides the city with two critical resources to combat those challenges. The first is Temple’s strong partnership with Philadelphia’s K–12 schools. The second is Temple’s indispensable role in providing healthcare in North Philadelphia.
“I am extremely proud that—through initiatives such as the Temple Option, Fly in 4 and acting as the safety net for the medical needs of those less fortunate—Temple is meeting real needs of real families in Philadelphia,” Theobald said.
Powering the city of Philadelphia is one of the six commitments Theobald made to the Temple community when he was inaugurated as president in 2013. Supporting diversity and international education is another of the commitments.
Theobald’s trip to Rome marked his first official visit to Temple University Rome, where students can spend a semester, academic year or summer studying in the Eternal City.
During his trip, Theobald met with faculty and students, spent time with Temple Rome Dean Hilary Link, and toured the campus, which is located in the Villa Caproni, a historic building facing the Tiber River.
The president also attended the opening of Arte e Design, an exhibit at the Temple Rome Gallery of Art featuring works by visual arts faculty from Temple Rome and from the European Institute of Design.
On March 19, Theobald and Link were hosted by Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino, who is scheduled to speak on Temple’s Main Campus in September. They discussed healthcare in Philadelphia, the educational systems of the United States and Italy, and Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Philadelphia.
“Since I became Temple’s president, I’d heard great things about our campus in Rome,” Theobald said. “Now I see just what a tremendous asset Temple University Rome truly is. This is a beautiful campus in a beautiful city, and it provides Temple students with incredible opportunities.”