Every day, after working a 9-to-5 job and attending night class, Jeffrey Chapman came home to cook, get his sons ready for bed and read bedtime stories.
Then, he’d start his homework at 11 p.m.
This was Chapman’s routine for years while he was enrolled at Temple University, balancing his duties as a Temple Police captain and a new father to twin boys.
“As I got closer to finishing up, every morning the boys would ask, ‘Daddy, are you home late tonight or early?’” Chapman said.
Chapman walked for his 2018 master’s in sport business in January, marking his second Temple degree. He earned a criminal justice degree in Spring 2014.
While earning his new degree, Chapman, 58, was promoted to police inspector last November. His new position took him from patrolling Main Campus into an office environment in the Campus Safety Services building on Montgomery Avenue near 11th Street.
“I look at policies and general orders and just try to make sure that everything is tight,” said Jeffrey Chapman, who has worked at Temple for 32 years. “It’s a slow transition, it’s an adjustment. I was more out and about in my other role.”
While he has made a career out of police work, Jeffrey Chapman said pursuing a sports-related degree made sense to him because he has played sports like baseball and football his whole life.
“Criminal justice was mostly research,” he said. “This field was something where it had real-life applications.”
The Philadelphia native said he learned to take change and adversity in stride with the support of his wife, JoAnn Chapman, a 1996 rhetoric and communication alumna.
“You need to keep your job to provide for your family, but there’s times where there’s challenges and conflicts and you have to make a decision on what’s the most important,” Jeffrey Chapman added. “Fortunately, my wife was understanding.”
Sleep deprivation during the first couple of months after their twins’ December 2013 birth put a strain on the family’s busy schedules, JoAnn Chapman said, but the couple made it work. She said it was a great time for Jeffrey Chapman to return to school in 2015.
“We found the time and adjusted and coordinated our schedules so that he had the opportunity to finish what he needed to do and make sure that the kids had enough valuable time with both of us,” JoAnn Chapman said.
Although their children were older, it came with challenges. One of the twins got sick and was hospitalized for several days. Jeffrey Chapman missed classes to stay home with his other son while his wife stayed at the hospital.
Michael Jackson, a sport and recreation management professor, said Jeffrey Chapman was more involved with Temple and his studies than the average student.
“Two or three times we attended conferences, he actually set up an open forum where he brought police people in and other folks from other Philadelphia schools to talk about how they provide security and safety for the attendees,” Jackson said.
In addition to enjoying more free time with his family, Jeffrey Chapman is busy contemplating how he wants to combine his two degrees in his next career move.
“I hope I’ll be able to use my background and my experience and I think some doors will open, Chapman said. “I don’t have anything that specific that I think it will translate to, but as time passes, I’m going to buckle down, reach out to my contacts and see what’s out there.”
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