SOUTH BEND, IN – SEPTEMBER 02: A detailed view of the Temple Owls logo is seen on a Temple Owls Marching Band members uniform during the NCAA football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Temple Owls at Notre Dame Stadium on September 2, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
JoAnne A. Epps, the first Black woman to serve as president at Temple University, died suddenly after falling ill onstage at a memorial service.
NBC News reported that Epps, currently the university’s acting president, died Sept. 19 at 3:15 p.m. at Temple University Hospital. She was 72.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Epps, who was scheduled to speak at the service, was carried out in the arms of a uniformed officer after the announcer asked if there was a doctor in the house.
“We are not aware that President Epps had any health issues,” Ken Kaiser, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Temple, said at a news conference, according to the Associated Press.
The Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, native graduated from Yale Law School in 1976. Epps was on the Philadelphia police oversight board, leader of an independent group of public defenders, and assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, NBC News reported. She was also the assistant city attorney in Los Angeles.
Epps is survived by her husband.
Source: Black Enterprise