Trustee Loretta Duckworth
There are 30 years between Loretta Duckworth’s first Temple degree, a bachelor of arts in English, and her most recent degree, a master of arts in fine arts administration earned in 1992. She also has a masters in English and most of a doctorate in philosophy, also from Temple.
But if there is one feature that has been consistent through the years Duckworth has spent in various Temple classrooms, it is that that rush of excitement that comes when a new concept or idea suddenly becomes clear.
“I can recall so many moments in the classroom that were absolute epiphanies for me. The lights just suddenly went on!” Duckworth said. “Great teachers can do that for you.”
As the General Alumni Association’s representative to the Board of Trustees since 2004, Duckworth wants to make sure other students will share her excitement for Temple’s renowned ability to offer a quality education at an affordable price.
“The education I received as an undergraduate and then later as a graduate student was absolutely peerless,” she says without equivocation.
For Duckworth, coming to Temple as an undergraduate simply made sense.
“I was a South Philadelphia High School student, the first one in my family to go to college,” she said. “I just got on the subway and went up to Temple. It was perfect for me.”
Her undergraduate experience in the early 1960s is very different than those of today’s students.
“It was a commuter school. You came here, took your classes and went home,” she said.
Unlike the large residential student population that dominates the current campus whose members can choose from a long list of lectures, films, concerts, plays, clubs, sports and other activities, Duckworth recalls that the only sense of “collegial” life came from fraternities and sororities.
“When I see the young people on the campus today, I am so thrilled for them,” she said.
“Temple is such as dynamic place to be.”
Over the years, Duckworth has been an educator, a businesswoman and a strong supporter of the arts in Philadelphia. Time and again, as she has pursued new career opportunities or wanted to expand her experiences, she has come back to Temple. And Temple has been there for her.
Duckworth said it is important for all alumni to get a sense of Temple’s progress and the continued need to support the university’s initiatives, such as the recent hiring of experienced faculty.
“These new faculty are the caliber of the wonderful faculty I had as an undergraduate,” she said. “I’m very excited about the future.”
- By Ray Betzner