Temple celebrates its 128th Commencement
Amid tears and cheers, traditional pomp and circumstance, and more than a little Philly-style energy, Temple celebrated the achievements of its Class of 2015 during the 128th Commencement ceremony on May 8.
Thousands of students, their families, faculty and friends packed the Liacouras Center on Broad Street as the university conferred undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to the more than 9,000 who earned Temple diplomas this academic year.
Opening the ceremony, Temple President Neil D. Theobald told the graduates, clad in the traditional caps and gowns, that they were about to change in a profound way.
“In a few minutes, you will flip your tassels from right to left,” said Theobald. “You will be students no longer. You will be Temple’s newest alumni.”
The president also noted that during their time at Temple, the students witnessed great changes at the university, including the opening of the Science Education and Research Center and Morgan Hall and the creation of the Fly in 4 and Temple Option programs.
Their association with their university has also transformed the students forever, said Theobald.
"You will always be asked where you came from. Until today, you have probably named your hometown: Berwyn, Plymouth Meeting or Singapore," the president said. "But starting today, you can say, ‘I’m from Temple.’”
In addition to the graduates, the university also conferred three honorary degrees, including two to Temple alumni:
· James Joo-Jin Kim, executive chairman of Amkor Technology Inc. and co-founder of Electronics Boutique, received a doctor of business, honoris causa.
· Malcolm Hoenlein, CLA ’65, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, received a doctor of humane letters, honoris causa.
· Kevin Negandhi, SMC ’98, ESPN’s SportsCenter anchor and broadcast pioneer who became the first Indian-American national sports anchor in 2006, received a doctor of communication, honoris causa.
Negandhi, a native of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, who transferred to Temple from Syracuse University during his freshman year, delivered the Commencement’s keynote address. He told the graduates how the university’s motto, Perseverance Conquers, has served him in his journey from his first job at a television station in Kirkwood, Missouri, to the anchor desk at ESPN.
“My parents didn’t teach me to dream and wait; they taught me to dream and work, and work some more,” he said. “Over 50 news directors from TV stations all over the country said no to my resume before one finally agreed to give me a shot. All of my success started with failure.”
Following his address, Negandhi, borrowed from a Temple sports tradition to create a new Temple Commencement tradition. Replicating the popular “I believe that we have won!” cheer, Negandhi led the graduates in a similar cheer of “I believe that we are done!”
In addition to Theobald and Negandhi, Ifeoma S. Ezeugwu, CLA ’15, and Tricia S. Jones, professor of adult and organizational development in the College of Education and president of the Temple Faculty Senate, delivered remarks on behalf of the students and faculty, respectively. Temple Alumni Association President Scott F. Cooper, LAW ’92, also welcomed the graduates as new alumni.
Before and after Friday morning’s main commencement ceremony, Temple’s 17 schools and colleges held individual ceremonies across Main Campus, at the Ambler and Harrisburg campuses, and at Philadelphia’s Merriam Theater and Kimmel Center.