Temple Student Government formally said farewell to Dean of Student Affairs James Fitzsimmons on Feb. 22, with TSG general assembly members and some members of Temple’s administration present.
Monday’s meeting was dedicated to appreciating and bidding farewell to the dean. Students and administrators praised Fitzsimmons’ service to Temple and its students.
Bill Bergman, vice president of operations, described the occasion as a “sad day for the university. It is an absolute loss for the university, and that’s a positive thing to say.”
Fitzsimmons was involved in many projects at Temple, including the construction of the “1940” and “1300” residence halls, the Independence Blue Cross Recreation Center (IBC) and the Kardon building.
Senior Vice President Dr. Clarence Armbrister echoed the statements of other administrators, saying, “There was never a time I called and he was not there to answer a question.”
Armbrister described the general assembly as lucky to have the dean work for them.
“The Dean facilitated our growth. He was there through our hard times and our better times,” said Dekwuan Postell, TSG vice president for student affairs.
Former TSG President Bunmi Samuel was also present to thank Fitzsimmons for his service to the student body during his term as student body president.
Dr. Theresa Powell, vice president of student affairs, added some humor about the dean’s departure.
“Many of you know that I have husbands and boyfriends everywhere,” she said. “Brian [Carter] is my student boyfriend, [Carl] Bittenbender is my staff boyfriend, but the dean [Fitzsimmons] is my only husband. We’re losing a wonderful colleague, friend and dean.”
TSG president Brian Carter made the final comments, reiterating the sentiments of the speakers before him and thanking the dean for his guidance and service.
Fitzsimmons’ comments and responses to the appreciation and praise he received were held back by his tears.
Charmie Snetter can be reached at email@example.com.