Thomas G. Kupp
Vice Dean, Finance and Administration
Temple University School of Medicine
Executive Director, Temple University Physicians
I’m honored to say a few words about John Daly. As you know, he started his tenure as Dean of Temple University School of Medicine in November 2002. I joined Temple seven months later. And over the next eight years, as I’ve gotten to know John Daly a little bit better, I’ve learned a number of things about him – five to be specific.
- Numbers. He never forgets a number. He may forget your face – and quite possibly your name, but he can remember a number buried in a spreadsheet that you showed him two months back. A sign that he is probably a frustrated accountant at heart.
- Japanese “Yes." Those who don’t know John would often be confused with his response when they asked him for something – such as money or space. His Japanese “yes” -- a nod to acknowledge that he heard the request or issue, was frequently confused with “approval." It was only when the individual would contact Finance for an account number that they truly “understood."
- Getting the job done. When John would first ask you do to something, he was generally very straightforward and clear, asking that you get it done as quickly as you could. If an excessive period of time had passed and you failed to complete the project, he would ask you again – and ask that you move forward with alacrity. Only when he was REALLY frustrated with the speed – or lack thereof – would he raise his voice – just a bit, and wonder aloud if the project would be completed in “his lifetime." Then you knew that you’d better get it done.
- His passion to leave the School of Medicine in a better place than he found it. How many deans take a job with a limited dowry and a School on probation, and turn it into what we have today – with this incredible new education and research tower, with many amazing new faculty and an incredible student body – and the U.S. News and World Report ranking of Temple as 45th in research – ahead of Jefferson, Drexel and Penn State – what an accomplishment! And to imagine that only a few years ago we weren’t even listed!
- Family/Work Life Balance. While John has always been driven – and is rarely “off line”, he always makes time for his family and friends.
One final story that I believe shows how truly special John Daly is. Two summers ago I happened to mention to John that my family and I were going to spend a week in Ocean City, NJ – not knowing that the Dalys had a summer home there. We arrived Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning I got up early to go to the gym, and on the way back to the house I saw that I missed a call from John Daly. I called him back – hoping that we weren’t in the middle of yet another budget crisis, and he asks me to confirm my address. I gave him the street and house number, and he says that he’ll be over in 15 minutes. OK – now I know it’s something serious – he’s coming over with financials! Fifteen minutes later there’s a knock on the door. It’s John with a box of the most incredible cinnamon buns you can imagine, which he brought over for my family and I to enjoy. That’s John Daly. He will push you hard to achieve your very best. He’s also there for you when you need him – and is always giving of himself.
Rebecca Barlow Jordon once wrote:
It’s not how much you accomplish in life that really counts, but how much you give to others.
It’s not how high you build your dreams that makes a difference, but how high your faith can climb.
It’s not how many goals you reach, but how many lives you touch.
It’s not who you know that matters, but who you are inside.
Believe in the impossible, hold tight to the incredible, and live each day to its fullest potential. You can make a difference in your world.
Dean Daly, Dr. Daly, John – you have made a significant difference in my life, and to many of us. You have touched many – with your compassion, humility, friendship and leadership. Thank you for all that you have done for the School of Medicine, but more importantly, for what you have given me and taught me. And I trust that you’ll have many more years ahead of teaching and of giving.
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