Temple University Acting President, JoAnne A. Epps, 72, Dies Suddenly at Memorial Service.

By | September 20, 2023

JoAnne A. Epps, the acting president of Temple University, has died at the age of 72 after collapsing during a memorial service on campus.

Temple University is mourning the sudden and tragic loss of JoAnne A. Epps, the acting president of the prestigious institution, who passed away at the age of 72. The news of her untimely death spread rapidly, sending shockwaves through the university community and beyond.

Epps collapsed during a memorial service held on campus, where she was paying tribute to a revered faculty member who had recently passed away. Despite immediate medical attention and efforts to revive her, she could not be saved, leaving the Temple University community in a state of profound grief and disbelief.

JoAnne A. Epps was a highly respected academic leader who had dedicated her life to the pursuit of education and the advancement of knowledge. Born on June 1, 1951, in Philadelphia, Epps was raised in a family that valued education. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973 from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., before attending Yale Law School, where she obtained her Juris Doctor degree in 1976.

Epps’ passion for law and justice led her to embark on a remarkable career in academia. She joined the faculty at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in 1985, where she quickly made a name for herself as an exceptional legal scholar and educator. Epps specialized in criminal law and procedure, earning widespread recognition for her expertise. Her commitment to her students and her dedication to fostering an inclusive learning environment earned her the admiration and respect of her colleagues and students alike.

In 2008, Epps was appointed Dean of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, becoming the first African American woman to hold such a position in the school’s history. Under her leadership, the law school flourished and further solidified its reputation as a top-tier institution. Epps’ visionary approach to legal education, coupled with her unwavering commitment to social justice, helped shape the next generation of legal professionals.

In 2016, Epps assumed the role of acting president of Temple University following the departure of former president Neil D. Theobald. During her tenure, she successfully navigated the university through numerous challenges, demonstrating her exceptional leadership skills and dedication to its mission.

The cause of JoAnne A. Epps’ death remains unknown at this time. An autopsy will be conducted by the medical examiner’s office to determine the exact cause and circumstances surrounding her passing. The university community is anxiously awaiting the results, hoping for answers that might help provide some closure in the face of this devastating loss.

As news of Epps’ passing reverberates throughout the academic world, tributes and condolences pour in from all corners. Colleagues, former students, and friends remember her as a trailblazer, a mentor, and a role model who left an indelible mark on the legal profession and the lives of countless individuals.

Temple University has announced plans to honor Epps’ memory through various memorial events and initiatives. The university community will come together to celebrate her remarkable life and reflect on the countless ways she influenced and inspired those around her.

JoAnne A. Epps will be remembered as a visionary leader, an exceptional legal scholar, and a compassionate educator who dedicated her life to the pursuit of knowledge and the betterment of society. Her contributions to Temple University and the field of law will continue to resonate for generations to come. As the university mourns her loss, her indomitable spirit and legacy will forever be ingrained in the institution she so passionately served..


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