Posted April 25, 2016

Student Commencement speaker gets a dose of Temple pride

Pop-up pride struck Yanna Savkova, Class of 2016, in the lobby of 1300 Residence Hall.

Video Production: Gina Benigno
It’s not every day that one leaves a meeting and is greeted by a sea of cheering cherry and white.

That’s exactly what happened to Yanna Savkova, Class of 2016, on what seemed like an ordinary Thursday morning. She was attending her regularly scheduled meeting with Marvin Debose, resident director of 1300 Residence Hall, where she is a resident assistant. As the meeting came to a close, Savkova thought something seemed different.

“Marvin and I have our one-on-one meetings every other week and they’re usually very efficient,” she said. “We get down to the point, we talk about what we need to talk about, but at the end of this meeting he said ‘You’re going to need to wait here for just a few more minutes, one of my bosses wants to say goodbye to all of the graduating seniors.’”

Savkova thought it was unusual that he’d be keeping her when she had an 11 a.m. class looming. Then Debose changed tactics and told her they’d just meet his boss in the lobby—another seemingly odd move.

As Savkova reached the lobby, Debose’s strange behavior suddenly made sense. Instead of meeting his boss, she walked right into Temple’s fourth pop-up pride event. Waiting for her in the lobby was Hooter, members of the Diamond Marching Band and a full spirit squad.

“I was completely surprised,” said Savkova. “I had no idea.”

Savkova was overwhelmed by the moment. The nursing major was cheered on by her College of Public Health classmates, members of Temple EMS (she is the group’s chief of operations) and fellow resident assistants.

“I love all of these people so much,” she said of the fan club that showered her with Temple pride. “Some of the most important people in my life came out for this today. It means the world.”

Although the end of her time at Temple approaching, Savkova still has a couple of milestones left to experience—including delivering the student address at Commencement, an honor she’s not taking lightly.

“All that I ever want to do is help other people and this speech is one last chance for me to leave a positive impact,” she said.

After Commencement, Savkova will put her EMS experience and nursing degree to work. Her next stop will take her to Rochester, Minnesota, where she’s accepted a position as a nurse in the Medical Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at The Mayo Clinic. She’ll start in August, after travelling to Austria, Germany and Switzerland with her twin sister, Sasha, and their mother.

She’ll be making the most out of the remainder of her time at Temple until then.

“I’m going to miss everybody so much and want to get the most out of the time I have left,” she said. “I don’t think there’s ever been a more apropos time to use the word bittersweet.”