Tamron Hall has been nominated to fill the seat Bill Cosby relinquished when he resigned from the Board of Trustees last December.
Hall, an alumna who graduated in 1992 with a degree in broadcast journalism. She is currently a co-host of NBC’s TODAY show, and host of MSNBC’s NewsNation.
In 2011, Hall won the School of Media and Communication’s Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Award, given to alumni who have made extraordinary contributions in the media industry.
Hall could not be reached for comment.
Special Assistant to the President Bill Bergman said the Board’s selection was “fabulous,” adding Hall won’t be phased by taking Cosby’s seat if she is elected.
“I think this is just an opportunity for someone who went here to be here,” he said. “She breathes Temple, so I don’t see any negatives about that.”
Student Body President Ryan Rinaldi said he was happy about the nomination, given Hall’s contributions to the university across the board, not just in SMC.
As an alumna, Hall “makes a huge difference,” Rinaldi said. “Although a lot of trustees do a great job, and some of them aren’t alumni, it’s nice to have somebody who has been here in the past, has seen the transformation over the last 20 years and continues to be invested in what we’re doing.”
He added he thinks the fact Bill Cosby occupied the seat before her won’t add pressure, as it is just an empty seat. The opportunity is exciting for Hall regardless of who held the position before her, Rinaldi said.
During the past year, the university has been criticized for not representing enough minority trustees on its Board. Both Bergman and Rinaldi said the addition of an African-American woman should help progress.
“I think the diversity helps,” Bergman said. “She’s got so much talent and is going to bring so many new perspectives to the Board moving forward.”
“Regardless of race, creed, gender, her resume speaks for itself,” Rinaldi said. “She’s an inspiration, and I’m happy to have another woman on the Board.”
Hall also received an Emmy for Outstanding Live Coverage in October 2010 for her work as a correspondent of the NBC news special “The Inauguration of Barack Obama.”
She has also been outspoken about domestic violence and abuse. Hall’s sister, Renate, was murdered in Texas in 2004 in a domestic violence case that remains unsolved.
Rinaldi said Hall’s stance on the issue is vital if she ends up elected by the Board today, not only because of Temple’s location, but also because of its impact on women everywhere.
“That’s very important,” he said. “Especially not just the fact we live in North Philadelphia, but because there is a lot of that that goes on. … She’s a voice, she’s much more than the average folk.”
Rinaldi, who will be at today’s Board of Trustees meeting, said he looks forward to working with Hall if she is elected.
“I look forward to having an ongoing conversation about domestic violence and about a number of issues that face Temple,” he said. “And see how we can collaborate and use our different experiences to find solutions.”
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter can be reached @Steve_Bohnel.