Former Temple President Peter Liacouras Dies at 85

The native Philadelphian was the second-longest serving president of the university.

Peter Liacouras in 2002. Photo courtesy of Temple University.

Peter Liacouras in 2002. Photo courtesy of Temple University.

Peter Liacouras, who served as Temple University’s president from 1982-2000, died Thursday at the age of 85.

“Peter was a man of vision and determination,” said current President Neil Theobald in a statement. “He loved Temple and would do anything he could for the university’s greater good, whether that was before, during or after his term as president.”

Liacouras’s name is all over Temple’s main campus in North Philly. It’s on the main promenade that cuts across campus, and it’s on the Liacouras Center on Broad Street, a basketball stadium and concert venue that was originally called the Apollo of Temple.

Liacouras was a Temple law professor starting in the early 1960s, and he became the dean of the law school in 1972, according to his university biography. He was the first university president to have been born in the city, and the length of his tenure was only outdone by Russell Conwell, who founded the school.

Liacouras is also credited with accelerating the development of main campus, which has only picked up steam since his retirement — so much so that the campus today would be almost unrecognizable to a student who graduated the year Liacouras left.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 20th, in the Temple Performing Arts Center.

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