Temple University President Falls Ill Right Before She’s Set To Give Speech, Dies

Temple University’s acting president, Joanne A. Epps, died Tuesday after falling ill on stage during a university event, according to a statement from the school cited by CBS News.

The 72-year-old was scheduled to speak at a memorial event. Charles L. Blockson He is a historian and author who directed the Blockson African American Collection. according to Philadelphia Inquirer. Epps is Deputy University Leader in early 2023 after Jason Wingard steps down.

Temple Board Chairman Mitchell Morgan said he was “devastated by this loss,” according to the newspaper. “She was our light at the end of the tunnel. Temple University will survive. I don’t know if I can emotionally endure it.”

According to the Inquirer, Epps slumped in a chair and an announcer asked if a doctor was available before officers carried her away from the event. Her exact cause of death has not yet been made public.

The ceremony was temporarily postponed. Former Faculty Senate President Kimika Williams-Witherspoon read Epps’ speech on her behalf when the event resumed. (Related: Temple University graduate students go on strike demanding a ‘living wage’)

“She was taken to Temple University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at approximately 3:15 p.m.,” Temple University officials said in a statement. according to Go to CBS News.

“President Epps served Temple with grace, dignity, and unwavering dedication.” Temple University Police Association Said On Twitter.

According to the Inquirer, Morgan said a meeting with the school’s board of trustees would be held Wednesday to decide what to do next.

Ken Kaiser, Temple’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, said in a press conference that he was not aware of any health issues that President Epps had. around Associated Press (AP).

Prior to becoming acting dean, Mr. Epps served as a faculty member and senior advisor to the dean at the university’s Beasley School of Law, and served as executive vice president and provost from 2016 to 2021. She also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia and an assistant city attorney in Los Angeles. according to Her biography can be found on Temple University’s website.

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