Temple Times Online Edition
    JANUARY 19, 2006
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In Memoriam

John ‘Jack’ Niven, University Housing director


On Dec. 6, 2005, Vice President for Student Affairs Theresa A. Powell sent the following message to the Temple University community:

“I am saddened to inform the University community of the sudden passing of John ‘Jack’ Niven, director of University Housing. On behalf of Temple, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Jack’s family during this difficult time.

“Jack arrived at Temple in March 2002 after a long and varied tenure with Northeastern University in Boston. From the day he came to campus, Jack energized University Housing and was passionate about providing unmatched service to Temple students. Under his direction, the University’s residential population swelled to record numbers, and he successfully supervised the day-to-day operations of six Main Campus residence halls, as well as facilities at the Ambler Campus and Tyler School of Art Campus. Jack also directly supervised three associate directors and a departmental staff of approximately 100 full-time employees.

“Jack’s vision for University Housing, however, went far beyond providing for the basic needs of our students. He sought to transform Temple’s residence halls into a place for student learning and activity. This fall, he oversaw the opening of the University’s first-ever residential classroom in the 1300 Residence Hall. The space reflects his commitment to student academic success.

“In addition to his leadership of University Housing, Jack contributed to Temple and the Division of Student Affairs in many ways. Most recently, he served on the committee that planned the Student Leadership Challenge, a comprehensive program meant to nurture responsible student leaders at Temple. Jack also took an active role in the implementation of the Student Leadership Challenge, directing a workshop for students through the Exploring Leadership Series.

“A fixture at Temple basketball games, Jack was an avid sports fan who loved his hometown Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. During his time at Northeastern, Jack coached a nearby high school basketball team for nearly 30 years.

“Jack held both a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in public administration from Northeastern University. He got his start as a student affairs professional as a residence director for Northeastern in 1973.

“I am grateful for Jack’s tireless devotion to Temple University. It will be impossible to replace his charisma, energy and talents, and incredibly positive spirit. The Temple community will not be the same without him.”

Niven’s funeral was held in his hometown of Boston. A memorial service will be held for the Temple community will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 27 in room 200 of the Student Center.