PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Temple University interim president JoAnne A. Epps has died after collapsing during a memorial service Tuesday afternoon, the university announced.
Epps was transported to Temple University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, the university said.
“There are no words to describe the severity and sadness of this loss,” board Chairman Mitchell Morgan said in a statement. “President Epps was a devoted servant and friend who represented the best aspects of the Temple. She spent nearly 40 years of her life serving this university, and it goes without saying that her loss will reverberate through the community for years to come.
Epps, former provost and dean of Temple’s law school, was named to the position in April following the resignation of Jason Wingard, Temple’s first Black president. Wingard resigned in March after leading the 33,600-student university since July 2021.
“JoAnne Epps has been a powerful force and constant ambassador for Temple University for nearly four decades. Losing her is heartbreaking for Philadelphia,” Gov. Josh Shapiro said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Lori and I hold JoAnne’s loved ones in our hearts right now. May his memory be a blessing.