Temple Uni President JoAnne A. Epps tragically passes away, collapsing onstage during university event.

By | September 20, 2023

Temple University president JoAnne A. Epps has passed away after collapsing on stage during a university event. The ceremony was briefly halted but later resumed with former faculty senate president Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon reading Epps’ remarks.

Temple University President, JoAnne A. Epps, tragically passed away after collapsing on stage during a university event. The incident took place yesterday, causing a temporary delay in the ceremony. However, the event eventually resumed with Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, former faculty senate president, stepping in to read Epps’ remarks.

JoAnne A. Epps was a highly respected figure in the academic and legal fields. She was born on September 2, 1952, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Epps attended Trinity College in Washington, D.C., where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She then pursued her Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School, graduating in 1978.

Epps began her legal career as a public defender in the District of Columbia’s Public Defender Service. Her dedication and passion for justice led her to specialize in criminal law and defense. In 1998, she joined Temple University’s Beasley School of Law as a faculty member. Throughout her tenure, Epps held various administrative roles, including Dean of the law school, Provost, and ultimately, President of Temple University in 2016.

Under Epps’ leadership, Temple University experienced significant growth and development. She prioritized fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community, championing student success, and strengthening the university’s relationships with the surrounding Philadelphia community. Epps was highly regarded for her commitment to providing quality education and opportunities for all students.

At this time, the cause of Epps’ sudden collapse and subsequent passing remains unknown. The university community and the wider academic community are mourning the loss of an exceptional leader, mentor, and advocate. Epps’ dedication to education, justice, and equality will be remembered as her enduring legacy.

The Temple University community is coming together to honor Epps’ memory and support one another through this difficult time. The university has provided counseling services and resources to assist students, faculty, and staff in processing their grief. Plans for a memorial service to celebrate Epps’ life and contributions are underway.

As investigations into the cause of JoAnne A. Epps’ tragic death continue, her family, friends, and colleagues are left to remember her as an extraordinary leader who made a profound impact on the Temple University community and beyond..


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