More than 200 students, faculty and family members attended the memorial service of John “Jack” Niven, Temple’s housing director, on Friday afternoon.
Niven, 57, died unexpectedly on Dec. 5, 2005, at his home. He came to Temple in 2002, after a 29-year tenure at Boston’s Northeastern University.
Colleagues and friends told stories and shared memories of working with Niven. Theresa Powell, vice president of Student Affairs, remembered Niven as “a big man with a big heart.”
“We at Temple lost a friend and a colleague who touched us deeply, both personally and professionally,” Powell said. “He had so much more to do and share that we feel cheated that he’s been taken away from us. What he accomplished in his life, however, is his legacy to us.”
Niven was instrumental in changes at university housing over the last three years, including guaranteeing campus housing to freshmen and sophomores.
“His vision was to improve the housing experience for all the students entrusted to him,” Ed Neblock, associate director of Finance and Operations, said. “He worked very hard to bring positive change to Temple and university housing.”
His most recent accomplishment was the completion of an honors classroom in a study lounge at 1300 residence hall.
“As a work team, and as peers, we miss him terribly, and will always feel no matter how things are going, it would always be a lot better if Jack were here,” Steve Young, director of Recreation Services, said.
Donations in Niven’s memory can be made to the Coach Niven Scholarship Fund, Chelsea High School, c/o Athletic Department, 299 Everett Ave., Chelsea, MA 02150.
Emily Catalano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.