Posted June 26, 2018

40 years on, Temple triplet says she’s here to stay

Joan Hankins, FOX ’04, first started working at Temple as a clerk-typist at Paley Library when she was 17 years old.

Video Production: Gina Benigno and Louis Peluyera

If you think you spot Joan Hankins on Main Campus, don’t be fooled: It’s probably one of her triplets, Jackie Hankins-Kent or Joyce Hankins-Radford.

Hankins is the longest-tenured of the triplets, who all work for the university: She and her sisters grew up in North Philadelphia, moving from the Richard Allen Homes to 28th Street, and as part of a high-school co-op program, Hankins was the first of her sisters to begin working at Temple. 

“I started as a clerk-typist at Paley Library. We were actually typing the book catalog cards,” Hankins recalled from her front porch on a recent morning as she prepared for her four-minute drive to work. 

That was in 1978, and she never looked back. This year, Hankins will celebrate her 40th anniversary working at Temple during the university’s annual 20 Year Club celebration honoring long-tenured employees. 

Hankins has a long Temple history. After spending a few years as a clerk-typist at the library, she was hired by a Temple legend, Charles Blockson, to be the first employee at the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. From there, she moved on to the School of Pharmacy, where she still works today as director of admissions.

My family is the Temple family, at Temple and at home."
-- Joan Hankins, director of admissions, School of Pharmacy

Along the way, Hankins’ relatives have joined her at Temple. Her triplets both work on Main Campus—Hankins-Kent as the administrative coordinator for the ROTC program and Hankins-Radford as an academic coordinator in the College of Public Health. Her niece Keisha Hankins, CPH ’02, SSW ’10, works for the College of Public Health, as a student services coordinator for the therapeutic recreation program. Another sister, Georgina Howell, also works in the School of Pharmacy as the administrative coordinator in the Dean’s Office. A niece and a nephew are current students at Temple, and several other relatives are graduates. Hankins herself is a Temple alumna, earning her bachelor’s in business administration in 2004. 

“My family is the Temple family, at Temple and at home,” Hankins said. “We have gatherings, and not one conversation goes by without mentioning a Temple function or Temple coworkers.”

Hankins said what she’s enjoyed most about working at Temple, including in her current role, is that her job allows her to help people every day. “No day is the same. I could go into work saying I’m going to evaluate 15 [applicant] folders, but I may not be able to evaluate the folders until two or three days later,” Hankins said. “In admissions, you have students asking questions, current students want to know where their class is, what to do about financial aid, it’s various questions, and I try to help each and every one.”

Hankins said she has no plans to leave Temple anytime soon.

“Time flies when you’re having fun,” she said.

With a laugh, she added: “I’m going to be here another 40 years.”