Posted May 6, 2016

Temple celebrates its 129th Commencement

The university conferred undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to its largest-ever graduating class.

Video Production: Gina Beningo
They walked in as students and left the building as Temple University’s newest alumni. The Class of 2016, their families and friends gathered today in the Liacouras Center on Broad Street as the university conferred undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to the largest graduating class in its history.

“When you chose Temple, you chose wisely.”
-- Temple President Neil D. Theobald
Temple President Neil D. Theobald opened Temple’s 129th Commencement by encouraging the graduates to savor the ceremony and give thanks to those who supported them on their paths.

He assured the graduates they are ready for the next stop on their journeys, because they possess Temple tenacity and understand the power of partnerships.

“No one succeeds in life alone,” Theobald said, adding “partnerships are crucial for success.”

That’s a truth student Commencement speaker Yanna Savkova, CPH ’16, learned at Temple. While a student, Savkova built partnerships across campus as a resident assistant and as chief operations officer of Temple EMS that helped her succeed. Her address reflected on the ties that bind together the Class of 2016.

“We will leave with one very strong common core connection, and that is a choice that we have all made,” said Savkova. “The choice to answer the call, the choice to attend Temple and the choice to leave this world better than we found it.”

As President Theobald said to the graduates, “When you chose Temple, you chose wisely.”

Honorary degrees
At each Commencement, Temple confers honorary degrees to individuals who exemplify the highest degree of artistic, humanitarian or professional success. Mari Carmen Aponte, LAW ’75, HON ’16, and Phillip C. Richards, FOX ’62, HON ’16, were selected this year to receive honorary doctorates of humane letters for their notable careers and the significant impact they have had on many lives.

Richards, who delivered the Commencement address, told the graduates they’d already won the biggest lottery of them all—the Temple experience.

A first generation college graduate who attended Temple on a wrestling scholarship, Richards shared the extraordinary opportunities he had as a student, such as introducing Eleanor Roosevelt to the student body in 1962 and presenting a leather-bound commemorative Temple book to Martin Luther King Jr.

The executive chairman and founder of Minneapolis-based North Star Resource Group, Richards exemplifies the power of a Temple degree and spoke to graduates about their advantage.

“Along this journey, you’ve learned the greatest lesson that any school could teach you. You’ve learned to learn,” said Richards. “In research, academics and athletics, you have been part of a success story of this great institution. There has never been a better time to graduate from Temple University.”

“Today you’re Temple Made,” he continued. “Show kindness to those with whom you’ll compete, because they’re at a competitive disadvantage.”

See photo highlights from the ceremony.

Watch the full 2016 Commencement ceremony