Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Dick Vermeil and School Reform Commission nominee Estelle Richman will receive honorary degrees at commencement next month, the university announced Monday.
Vermeil will receive a doctorate of humane letters and Richman, a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, will receive a doctorate of laws. Vermeil, who led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in 1981, is also set to be the commencement speaker at the graduation on May 11.
Richman’s honorary degree would further solidify Temple’s connections to the School Reform Commission — which has two seats filled by current Temple employees. Governor Tom Wolf nominated Richman in October to fill the SRC’s empty seat, but she is still waiting for the state senate to confirm the nomination.
The university’s senior adviser of community relations, Joyce Wilkerson, and a professor in the College of Education, Chris McGinley, were both appointed to the SRC in the past year. Wilkerson chairs the commission. Soon, the university will have ties to three of the five sitting members on the board, if Richman is confirmed.
Vermeil spoke to Temple’s football program in August, the Inquirer reported.
The university is in the midst of plans for an on-campus stadium that would take the football program out of Lincoln Financial Field. According to an April 2016 report from the university’s CFO, Ken Kaiser, said building a stadium would be “a lot less expensive over the long term.”
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