Sen. Michael J. Stack III isn’t a Temple graduate, but he thinks of Temple
as the home team.
And it’s not just because he’s a Temple trustee.
After all, Stack represents Pennsylvania’s 5th Senate District, an area
covering much of Northeast Philadelphia, Bridesburg, Kensington and Port
Richmond. The 5th District is home to more than 6,500 Temple alumni and many
faculty and staff; its southern tip is only 2 1/2 miles from Main Campus.
The way Stack sees it, Temple’s fortunes serve as a barometer for his
district and the greater Philadelphia region. And given the University’s
recent successes, the forecast for the city is sunny.
“As an urban school, Temple has faced unique challenges,” Stack said. “Kids
around the state and around the nation used to have an apprehension about an
inner-city educational experience. But now, Temple’s academic standards are
going up, and Temple’s urban setting is perceived as a positive. That bodes
well for Temple’s future, and for all of us in the city and the state.”
Stack, a Democrat who began his second four-year term last month, comes from
a family committed to public service. His grandfather was a hard-working
immigrant who became a U.S. representative. His mother is a municipal court
judge in Philadelphia. His father is a Philadelphia ward leader.
At 24, only a year after earning a bachelor’s degree from La Salle
University in 1987, Stack become the youngest person ever to run for the
Pennsylvania state Senate. After getting his law degree from Villanova
University Law School in 1992, he went on to become executive deputy
director of the Pennsylvania Catastrophic Loss Fund under Gov. Robert P.
Stack was elected to his first term as a state senator in 2000. Last month,
he was named Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance
Committee. He also serves on the state Senate’s Appropriations, Aging and
Youth, Judiciary, Law and Justice, Veterans Affairs and Emergency
He was appointed to the Board of Trustees by the state Senate in 2001.
As a Philadelphian and an advocate of issues involving education and
economic growth, Stack has been monitoring and working to slow “brain drain”
— the departure of educated and talented future professionals from the
Stack believes Temple’s ascent is playing a role in reversing the trend.
“When I walk on Temple’s campus, I don’t see brain drain,” he said. “I see
the opposite: I notice more and more smart kids being attracted to the
University and to the city. I’m convinced we’re going to keep more of those
kids and win the brain drain battle, and that’s good for Philadelphia.”
According to Stack, the key to attracting people to Temple — and then
keeping them in the region — is getting them here to see the University for
“Everybody knows Temple from driving down Broad Street and seeing the
flags,” Stack said. “But you have no idea how beautiful this place is until
you walk through campus. Not only does it look great, you feel the energy
from the students and the faculty.”
Stack is doing his part in the recruitment drive.
“Wherever I go, I tell young people how great Philadelphia is, and that they
should take a strong look at Temple,” he said. “I’m a Temple cheerleader
- By Hillel J. Hoffmann
© 2005 Temple Times