Former Temple President Marvin Wachman dies

Former Temple President Marvin Wachman, who served as president from 1973 through 1982, died Sunday. He was 90.

Wachman died in his Chestnut Hill home apparently from heart problems, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. His wife of 65 years, Adeline, said he was hospitalized twice in the last two months.

During his time here, he called Temple “a small city” and worked to build better relations with the North Philadelphia community.

His tenure saw Temple with a slight decrease in enrollment and a severe financial crisis. Controversy ensued when he attempted to fire 16 tenured professors, but dropped the battle when one of Temple’s deans resigned in protest.

After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Northwestern University, he graduated from the University of Illinois after defending his doctoral thesis on the Socialist history of Milwaukee, his hometown. He served for four years as an infantry sergeant in World War II.

Prior to coming to Temple, Wachman, white and Jewish, was president of the historically black Lincoln University from 1961 to 1970.

The Temple University Press published his memoir, The Education of a University President, in 2005.

The Inquirer reports that Wachman declined on a funeral because he felt “he had lived a long and full life.” Arrangements for a celebration of his life were being made yesterday.

The Temple News reported in March that Wachman could not attend President Ann Weaver Hart’s inauguration due to undisclosed health reasons, Director of Communications Ray Betzner said.

Because of the university’s holiday closure, no one from Temple was available for comment.

Wachman is survived by his wife and two daughters, Katie and Lynn.

Chris Stover can be reached at

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