Temple football and basketball games have one feature no teams from other schools have: Ray Smeriglio’s voice encouraging fans and keeping score over the speakers.
Smeriglio, a senior strategic communications major, was contacted in 2012 by then-Associate Director of Marketing and Promotions Scott Walcoff to start announcing a few football and basketball games throughout the season. Ever since, Smeriglio’s distinct voice could be heard booming across the stands at basketball, football and field hockey games.
“I’ve always been a basketball guy my whole life,” he said. “It’s been really fun … being a part of the action.”
Smeriglio, also the former student body president of Temple Student Government, is graduating this month after four-and-a-half years at Temple.
He has been active in TSG since his sophomore year, where his involvement began as an Owl Ambassador which helped him “hone in on [his] public speaking skills, Temple knowledge and Temple pride,” Smeriglio said.
In 2012, he became the director of university pride and traditions for TSG and was elected student body president for the 2014-15 academic year.
Smeriglio said the experience helped him become “truly conscious of other people’s experiences.”
“It’s easy to minimize people’s issues because you don’t understand what they’re going through,” he said. “I thought I could be the one to take [TSG] to the next level and make sure the student voice is heard over and over again in a multiplicity of issues.”
Ryan Rinaldi, TSG’s current student body president, became friends with Smeriglio in the transition process between the two administrations.
“We’re different people and run TSG differently,” Rinaldi said. “It’s very professional but we have a great amount of mutual respect for each other. … I appreciate his friendship.”
“I learned early on in that transition process what kind of role I play,” Rinaldi added. “I saw that role when I saw him disagree with administration in putting students first. It’s easy in those meetings to be a ‘yes man,’ but when you’ve earned the respect of a room and you can agree, that’s an amazing thing. While it’s easy to say your first job and priority is representing the students, it’s not as easy to do that.”
Having switched his major three times, Smeriglio said a challenging part of his college career was “finding the right major in Temple in the midst of giving back to Temple.”
From athletics training to international business to marketing, Smeriglio said he finally found the course of study best suited to his career goals and skills with strategic communications.
Smeriglio said giving back to Temple is high on his list of priorities: he donates $100 a month to elements of the university like club sports or Temple’s emergency fund.
“It’s very easy to go through your time at Temple and take it for granted,” he said. “The more you give back, the better environment you create for students and the value of your degree goes up, too.”
“I’m not a blind follower of Temple,” he added. “Some of the best people who give back to Temple are the people who can walk around the city and talk about how great it is, but can [also] walk back to Temple and tell the president, the student body president, what we can change at Temple to make it an even better place.”
Outside of Temple, Smeriglio is a certified cycling instructor and enjoys swimming and participating in triathlons. He’s also the squad leader for Pop-up Pride events on campus, and the engagement coordinator in the Office of Alumni Relations.
Even though he appears to always be in motion, Smeriglio emphasized the importance of taking breaks.
“Even if you’re an extrovert, you need time for yourself to recharge your own battery,” Smeriglio said. “I love waking up on Saturday mornings when all my friends are asleep and having coffee in Rittenhouse Square alone.”
Post-graduation, Smeriglio said he will probably work in alumni relations and continue his work with athletics.
Rinaldi said Smeriglio “is the best thing about Temple.”
“If every student government and administration was like Ray’s or if every TSG president was like Ray, that student government would never falter and Temple students would be in the right hands,” Rinaldi said. “Ray has given this university his blood, sweat and tears. … People like Ray make Temple better.”
Lian Parsons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.