James S. White, a former Temple University Trustee for 17 years, died on Dec. 1 at the age of 88, the university announced in a release on Dec. 3.
White, the namesake of James S. White Residence Hall, worked in Philadelphia government before working at Temple for 25 years.
White was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and studied at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. He went on to receive a master’s degree from George Washington University and entered the United States Army, according to the university’s release.
While in the Army, White served in the Vietnam War and became a colonel. He retired in 1977 after 23 years of service, according to the release.
After coming to Philadelphia, White held multiple roles in the city government, including commissioner of the Department of Licenses and Inspections and an appointment as the city’s managing director, the highest appointed position in Philadelphia government by former Mayor Wilson Goode.
In 1991, White became the vice president of public affairs for Temple, and he eventually worked as the university’s executive vice president. In his positions, White helped push for the approval of a residence hall on Broad Street near Susquehanna Avenue, which became White Hall.
“He was always mindful of Temple’s historic mission, treated everyone with respect and championed affordability, diversity and access for students; partnerships with neighbors; and implementing the vision of Peter Liacouras in remaking Temple’s campuses,” wrote President Richard Englert the university’s release Thursday.
He was on the university’s leadership team for eight years before he became a member of the Board of Trustees in 1999, serving until 2016. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Tribune Board of Directors.