Theresa Powell, vice president of student affairs, died suddenly Monday night in her home state of Texas, wrote President Jason Wingard and Provost Gregory Mandel in an announcement to the Temple community Tuesday night.
“A tragedy like this is an unfortunate reminder of how fragile life can be,” Wingard and Mandel wrote. “It will no doubt affect many of us and in many different ways. It is our hope that we can find solace in our fond memories of Theresa and the tremendous impact that she has made on our community.”
Powell came to Temple in 2002 after serving as vice president of student affairs at Western Michigan University, Wingard and Mandel wrote. In her two decades at Temple, Powell helped develop the Division of Student Affairs’ programming.
Powell introduced the Weeks of Welcome program which is held at the beginning of each semester and includes events to help first-year students familiarize themselves with campus.
She was also named one of the Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s 2022 Women’s History Month honorees.
Powell was elected as the first Black, female president of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, an organization of higher education professionals involved in student affairs, and given the John L. Blackburn Distinguished Pillar Award in 2003, which honors individuals who strengthen the student affairs field.
A commemoration of Powell’s life will be held at a later date, according to the announcement.