Trustee Lewis Katz Dies in Plane Crash

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Lewis Katz, a member of the Temple University Board of Trustees who recently made the largest-ever donation to his alma mater, died Saturday night in the crash of a private plane north of Boston, Massachusetts.

Katz was 72 years old.

Temple Trustee Lewis Katz, '63, died in a plane crash Saturday night.
Temple Trustee Lewis Katz, ’63, died in a plane crash Saturday night.
(Photo Courtesy Temple University)

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Katz was one of seven people on the plane when it    crashed and burst into flames at about 9:40 pm Saturday. The plane was headed for  Atlantic City International Airport. Katz and the others aboard had flown to Concord for  an education fundraiser at the home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest had just been awarded ownership of the company that  owns the Inquirer last week.

Temple announced last month that the School of Medicine would be renamed the Lewis  Katz School of Medicine in recognition of the 25-million dollar pledge Katz made last fall.  It was the largest single pledge in the history of the university.

Katz graduated from Temple in 1963, and had been a member of the Board of Trustees  since 1998.

Katz was the featured speaker at last month’s commencement, where he received an  honorary degree. He joked on stage with old friend Bill Cosby, and talked about his humble beginnings and his years at Temple. Katz described how a scholarship made it possible for him to attend the university, and he urged the new graduates to make the most of their Temple diplomas and to hold on to the relationships they had made during their years at the school.

Temple President Neil Theobald called Katz’s death “an incalculable loss” for the university and for Philadelphia. President Theobald extended condolences to Katz’s family on behalf of the Temple community, and he said Katz’s impact on the university “will be felt by Temple students for decades to come.”

Click here to see more reaction from the Temple community and from around the nation.

Click here to see Lewis Katz’s remarks during Temple’s commencement on May 15th.



Class of 2014: Senior Tribute Montage

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Temple Update pays tribute to some of the seniors who helped make our 25th year a memorable one. Some of the seniors have been working with Temple Update for four years, in roles including producer, director, technical director, reporter, anchor, videographer, audio, studio camera, computer graphics and archives. All will be missed, but there are plenty of talented students ready to take their place when Temple Update returns for a 26th season in the fall.


Cody Butler – Director, Anchor, Reporter, Videographer Live-Shot Producer

Maxine Bentzel – Anchor, Reporter, TelePrompter

Kathleen Serra – Reporter, Audio, Archives

Stephanie Fanelli – Reporter, Studio Camera

Marianna Zimmerman – Producer, Editor, Reporter, Temple-in-London Correspondent

Karen Fisher – Technical Director, Computer Graphics, Reporter

Brianna Warne – Producer, Web Editor, Reporter

Sarah Cannon – Technical Director, Floor Manager, Reporter

Stephanie Craig – Supervising Producer, Producer, Anchor, Reporter, Studio Camera, Graphics, Writer

Ankit Patel – Director, Videographer, Sports Producer, Reporter, 2014 Rick Beardsley Award recipient

Isabel Garcia – Producer, Anchor, Reporter, 2014 Rick Beardsley Award recipient





Security Increased at Barton

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Less than a month after Temple Update aired a report about the lack of security at Barton Hall, the University has taken steps to improve security at the Main Campus building.

All but one of Barton’s entrances are now locked from the outside. The only remaining open doors are at the main entrance off Liacouras Walk, and a security guard has been posted inside that entrance to check ID’s. Stickers advise students and other visitors to use the main entrance.

In her February 27th story, Temple Update’s Stephanie Fanelli reported there were no security precautions in place at any of Barton’s entrances, despite the University’s move to tighten security in the wake of last fall’s attack on a professor inside his Anderson Hall office.

Director of Public Safety Charles Leone told Fanelli at the time that security at Barton was provided by roving security guards, bike cops and exterior patrols, and noted that Barton had a low crime rate. But he did admit that Barton needed some security improvements. Leone was unavailable to comment on the recent security changes, which apparently went into effect this week.

Related stories:

Security at Barton Hall Lacking, Students Say

Enhanced Security after assault in Anderson Hall




Temple London Students Head Home

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Robert Monroe and Mariana Zimmerman have been reporting from London for Temple Update all semester. For their final report, they asked fellow Temple-in-London students about their experience and what they will miss the most.

Communications Studies major Jennifer Hutz says she’ll miss interacting with Londoners: “It was really unique to be able to discover the differences between our cultures, even though we both speak the same language.” She says she’ll also miss the ease of traveling to other countries.

Journalism major Sunil Chopade also mentioned transportation – the double-decker buses. She also said she’ll miss “the general atmosphere of being here in a new place.”

Tara Levine, a Strategic Communications major will miss British children, her favorite sushi restaurant (Wasabi), and the “Tube:” “I’m going to miss the efficiency of the Tube, even when it’s down it’s still better than the Philly subway.” And Tara wholeheartedly endorsed the London experience, saying, “If anyone has the chance to study abroad, London is the perfect place to go.”

Click here for more information about the London Study Abroad program.

Other reports from Temple Update in London, Fall 2013:

Fall Break in London

London Report: Advising Students Abroad

London Report: On the Trail of Jack The Ripper

London Report: Temple Students Adjust



Fall Break in London

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Temple students studying in London have taken full advantage of their opportunities to travel during their fall break. They are now halfway through their semester of classes and internships.

Marianna Zimmerman and Robert Monroe talked to some of their fellow Temple London students before and after their break.

Some chose to stay and explore London more thoroughly, while others planned trips around Europe. Tara Levine, a Strategic Communications and Jewish Studies major, was heading to Barcelona, Venice and Rome. Communications Studies major Jennifer Hutz also had an ambitious itinerary.“I’m going to Switzerland first, and then I’m meeting a friend in Rome, and then to Bologna, and then Warsaw after that, and then Brussels, and finally back to London.”

But Kyle Schuerger, a Media Studies and Production major, was going to stick close to home. “I’m going to be staying in London over the fall break because I want to make sure I see as much of London as possible. I figured it was going to be cheaper, and there’s still plenty to do.”

After the break, students who left London talked about exploring different languages, different cuisine and of course, different landscapes. “Being in Geneva, you were surrounded by the Swiss Alps and it was surreal – it was the coolest thing,” remembers Jennifer. Tara says her visit to Spain revived her language skills. “In Barcelona I actually got to speak Spanish. I took eight years of it in high school and I was really excited to use it and I used it a lot, so that was exciting.”

Kyle didn’t regret his decision to stay in London. “I think i twas the first time that I didn’t have to worry about studying in London or working in London. It was just living in London, meeting more locals, you know, just living the London life.” And he was happy to see his traveling classmates return. “Everybody was hugging each other,” he remembers, “really happy to see everyone. It was really cool.”

Musical Theatre major Melissa Wolner was one of those travelers who was happy to return. “Because I was constantly picking up and moving, I couldn’t wait to get back to London because I really love London. I really liked the places I travelled to, but I definitely chose the right place to study abroad.”

“I’m having the time of my live abroad,” says Jennifer Hutz. “I can’t even believe I was in all those places.” She has advice for those considering studying abroad: “Just keep an open mind when traveling, because those are probably the best experiences you’ll have.”

For more information on the London Study Abroad program, click here.

Other Temple Update in London reports from Fall 2013:

Leaving London

London Report: Advising Students Abroad

London Report: On the Trail of Jack The Ripper

London Report: Temple Students Adjust





London Report: Advising Students Abroad

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(Robert Monroe and Mariana Zimmerman are reporting for Temple Update while participating in the Temple London Study Abroad program this semester. Robert Monroe reports on the dual role of one faculty member.)


Temple Students are entering their seventh week in London, but they didn’t travel across the pond alone. Advertising Professor Sheryl Kantrowitz is their faculty advisor and is experiencing London along with the students.

During this semester Professor Kantrowitz is living in Chelsea, just like the students, and also had to adjust to London living. “I wasn’t able to live in the faculty housing – they had run out of room, explains Kantrowitz, “ so I went on to a realty company and put in the post code and ended up in a flat that I can basically see the school from.” The location turned out to be a big help, she says. “Before the students arrived I actually had been running around London and I explored quite a few neighbourhoods in zones 1 and 2 already, so that was a big part of my adjustment , kind of getting my bearings.”

In addition to teaching a class about social media and personal branding, Professor Kantrowitz also organizes trips and outings for the 30-plus Temple students. She also serves as a mentor for their time in London. “It’s a different dynamic,” says Kantrowitz, “being here as an advisor and mentor. It’s more mentoring outside of academics in many ways. It’s kind of like I feel I am the students’ tie to home.”

“She has gone way past being a professor at this point,” says Communications Studies major Katie Leva. “She just made the whole experience personal, and she showed that she really cares about us and she wants to see us succeed as much as possible. She can relate to us on a really personal level being also in the communications field. I would definitely consider her a mentor.”

Professor Kantrowitz wants the semester to have a lasting impact on the students. “I hope that this will be a semester they won’t forget. I hope that they’ll want to travel more in their life and learn about different cultures, and hopefully get a lot out of learning about a different media environment, and that that will stay with them throughout their careers.”

Click here to find out more about the SMC London Study Away program.

Other Temple Update London reports from Fall 2013:

Temple Students Head Home

London Report: On the Trail of Jack The Ripper

Fall Break in London

London Report: Temple Students Adjust

London: On the Trail of Jack the Ripper

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(Robert Monroe and Mariana Zimmerman are reporting for Temple Update while participating in the Temple London Study Abroad program this semester. Mariana Zimmerman reports here on an unusual night for one class.)

Instead of sitting in a classroom on Wednesday evenings, Temple students can be found roaming the streets of London exploring all the different neighbourhoods and sampling some of the fine cuisine.

Professor Brian Ridgers, who teaches a Travel Writing class for the Temple London program, has an unorthodox teaching style, and he knows what he wants his students to take away. “Experience, thinking critically, engaging London as a place,’ Ridgers says, instead of “sitting in and doing things when we could be out and exploring — there’s no substitute.” Journalism major Sunil Chopade agrees. “It’s a really engaging class. It’s traveling, in a sense.”

On a recent Wednesday evening, Professor Ridgers and his students explored the famous Brick Lane, and walked the same path as an infamous serial killer: Jack the Ripper. “I thought the tour was great – a little creepy,” says MSP major Nick Senft,, “it’s really great to have a teacher who could show us small alleyways and get to different sides of the city and explain why, all of a sudden, we are in a different structure.”

With Halloween just around the corner, the Jack the Ripper tour made for a perfect Travel Writing class adventure. “Jack the Ripper stuff is sensationalist,” says Professor Ridgers, “and it’s also amazing to come to the place it happened, which is still a part of the city that is still pretty vibrant.”

With their appetite for history — and crime — satisfied, Professor Ridgers took his class to a fainl stop: dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant.

Find out more about the SMC London Study Away program by clicking here.

For other Temple Update in London reports:

Leaving London

Fall Break in London

London Report: Advising Students Abroad

London Report: Temple Students Adjust



London Report: Temple Students Adjust

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(Mariana Zimmerman and Robert Monroe are reporting for Temple Update during their semester with the SMC Study Abroad program in London. In her first report, Mariana looks at how Temple students are adjusting to live across the pond.)

The Royal Borough of Chelsea, London: What was once home to historical figures such as Sir Thomas More and Henry VIII, is now home to Temple University Students studying abroad.

With about thirty Temple Students attending, there are many different experiences. Paige Temos, a Strategic Communications Major, remembers being surprised. “My first impression when I got into London was that everything was backwards. The car situation really freaked me out. Everything was a lot more fast-paced – it was very “British.” People talk funny, but it was good.”

Journalism major Christasia Wilson says her background was good preparation. “My first impression was that it was a city. I’m from a city, so I was pretty comfortable,” says Wilson, “everything was moving around fast-paced, so I was used to it.”

Before arriving in London, most of the students didn’t know each other. But Advertising major Shannon King says being in a foreign country helped form friendships. “I think it’s good that we all went to the same school, so we have some destinations at home we can talk about,” says Shannon, “and kind of know some friends of each other, so that was a way to bond. Also, we are all in the same position.”

In addition to making new friends, students have also had to quickly grow accustomed to the currency exchange rate and a new transportation system. “I’m constantly just converting money in my head,” says Christasia, “so even when I want to do certain things, I’m just thinking about how much it really is in American dollars.”

Brandon Spain, and MSP major, is already a big fan of the London transport system: “Since we have our Oyster Cards, which we get to use for all our transportation, it’s a lot more efficient than SEPTA. I can pretty much get a bus whenever I need to, to wherever I need to. There’s never a time where I felt like I was relying on something that wasn’t going to work.”

Click here for more on the SMC London Study Away program

Other Temple Update in London reports from Fall 2013:

London Report: Advising Students Abroad

Fall Break in London

London Report: On the Trail of Jack The Ripper

Leaving London