JoAnne Epps, Temple University’s acting president, dies

Temple’s acting president, JoAnne Epps, dies at age 72

Temple’s acting president, JoAnne Epps, dies at age 72


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — JoAnne Epps, Temple University’s acting president, died on Tuesday, the university confirmed to CBS News Philadelphia. 

Temple University officials, including Board of Trustees Chair Mitchell L. Morgan, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Kaiser and Senior Vice President and Provost Gregory N. Mandel, released a statement about Epps passing: 

“Dear Members of the Temple Community, 

It is with deep heartbreak that we write to inform you that Temple University Acting President JoAnne A. Epps suddenly passed away this afternoon.  

While attending a memorial service at Temple for Charles L. Blockson, curator of the Blockson Collection, President Epps became ill. She was transported to Temple University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead around 3:15 p.m. 

There are no words that can describe the gravity and sadness of this loss. President Epps was a devoted servant and friend who represented the best parts of Temple. She spent nearly 40 years of her life serving this university, and it goes without saying her loss will reverberate through the community for years to come. 

Our thoughts are with President Epps’ family, and with all members of the Temple community in this moment. 

The days ahead will be difficult, but we will lean on one another as President Epps would want us to.”

Epps became ill during the Charles L. Blockson Memorial Service Tuesday afternoon. She was then taken to Temple University Hospital for further treatment and was pronounced dead at around 3:15 p.m., the university said.    

The Temple University Police Association expressed their condolences for Epps on social media. 

“JoAnne Epps was a powerful force and constant ambassador for Temple University for nearly four decades. Losing her is heartbreaking for Philadelphia,” Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro posted on social media. “May her memory be a blessing.”

Epps was named Acting President back in April temporarily replacing Jason Wingard, Temple’s first Black president who resigned in less than two years into his term amid a tenure filled with criticisms from students, faculty and alumni, including facing a no-confidence vote by Temple’s faculty union.

Epps joined Temple’s faculty in 1985 and was appointed dean of Temple Beasley School of Law in 2008 and named provost in 2016. She served as the provost until August 2021 after she was replaced by Gregory Mandel.

Before Temple, Epps was an assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia and a deputy city attorney in Los Angeles.

This is a breaking news story. Refresh for updates. 

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