Rewriting presidential history

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With a great deal of help from Sean Blanda, the Internet Jesus himself at The Temple News, I recently unveiled a multimedia package on former Temple University President Peter Liacouras. He held the top spot for 18 years, from 1982 to 2000, and a great deal of expansion, both academic and geographic, happened under his tenure.

I first met with him, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees and Temple’s longtime community relations director, back in October. Then I met with them again on March 18. In all, I spent more than five hours with the group, and another 90 minutes with the community relations director. It was the most work I ever put in for a story.

Check out the multimedia package here, read the profile I wrote on him, watch him talk about choosing Temple’s logo 25 years ago below, and let me know of any of your thoughts on the man, his administration or anything else. I also wrote a piece about his relationship with the community, that included a great deal on the two other men with whom I met for the story.

Number of Views:1029

Multimedia coverage of Hillary Clinton at Temple

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Last week, I posted about The Temple News covering Hillary Clinton holding a rally in McGonigle Hall at Temple, in front of a crowd of several thousand.

LeAnne Matlach, the assistant News Editor, reported there; Chris Stover, the Chief Copy Editor, filed an audio story, and Sean Blanda, our Online Editor, edited down video highlights of her 40-minute speech. In a pinch and without a photographer, I took photos, rounding out a complete multimedia package, though my photography is less than up to the normal standards of The Temple News.

Check out a slide show of those photos here on Flickr.

Number of Views:1433

Covering Barack Obama tomorrow in Philadelphia

There has been plenty of speculation about where Barack Obama will be tomorrow.

It has been announced that he will be speaking somewhere in Philadelphia, but the location has been kept limited, for reasons I don’t entirely understand. The speech has been described as a major address on race in politics, so expect historic words.

Still, I have been granted the privilege of reporting on his appearance tomorrow for The Temple News. All will be posted tomorrow afternoon. Check back for coverage.

See him in Philadelphia last May below.

Number of Views:1448

Hillary Clinton at Temple University

Sen. Hillary Clinton held a campaign rally at Temple University’s McGonigle Hall yesterday night.

Hear an audio report here by The Temple News here, and read its coverage here.

Her hubby Bill Clinton was at the University of Pennsylvania two weeks ago, which I covered, though his speech was on inequality, not the election

Number of Views:1249

Hillary at Temple, Barack coming next

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Sen. Hillary Clinton was at Temple University today, and I was on hand, taking photographs for The Temple News, though I won’t have them posted until tomorrow morning. I will additionally post some video clips of the speech.

Next week, Barack Obama is coming to Temple.

As Philadelphia and Pennsylvania’s importance increases with its primary coming April 22, we will see plenty of the two candidates in the Quaker City.

Number of Views:1004

What jokes cross the editorial line?

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No one needs to remind a self-aware student journalist about the dangers of satire. Every April brings with it new stories of high school and college publications biting it hard after trying their hand at April Fool’s Day issues.

Most usually, the beef comes about with expectations. Young journalists try their best to be as professional as possible and then, infrequently, perhaps even just once a year, they bring out the cutting remarks and find themselves accused of libel or the sort.

So, at The Temple News, we tend to avoid such events. Still, our news blog, Broad & Cecil, remains a forum for plenty of sarcasm and editorializing. It was launched in September, having endured more than half a year without any controversy to note.

So far.

Last week, The Temple News reported on Frank Baldino, a university Board of Trustees member, whose company, Cephalon Inc., of which he is founder and CEO, is being accused of anti-competitive business practices and sued for allegedly making a deal with another pharmaceutical company delaying the production of a generic brand of his firm’s sleep-related drug Provigil.

In today’s print edition, there will be a follow up. While the story was being passed around, some staffers got to embellishing the situation. The result was a brief 20 second clip, lampooning Baldino with a mock cut-out and cartoon voice impersonation.

Continue reading

Number of Views:952

The supernatural: graves and ghosts at Temple University

By Christopher Wink | Oct. 30, 2007 | The Temple News

Temple University has been built on the backs of the dead. It’s late October, and we think about the old, the hidden and the dead. Temple has its ghosts, indeed.

TEMPLE BY GRAVES

In the 1880s, Russell Conwell was laying the groundwork for what would be Temple University. He was tutoring young men by low light in the back of Grace Baptist Church, in a room called “the Temple.”

Across North Broad Street was a rambling grave site called Monument Cemetery, already half a century old and filling quickly.

By 1929, Monument had been filled to capacity with 28,000 burial services. Its 11-acre compound had been encircled by a dense urban landscape of rowhomes filled with Philadelphians of German and Irish descent. It sat like that for nearly thirty years, assuring Temple remained a decidedly east-of-Broad institution.

CONWELL WALKS

Conwell was one of the last notable Philadelphians to be buried in Monument Cemetery. He died in 1925, 15 years after his wife. After his wife’s passing, Conwell turned cold and perplexing. He stayed on in his fine home at 2020 N. Broad St., along with at least one maid, but Sarah was on his mind.

Not long before his death, Conwell was searching for his Civil War discharge papers but neither he nor his staff could find them. Legend has it that his wife came to him in sleep and told him where to find them. The next morning, the dream proved prescient, prompting Conwell to celebrate his wife’s reemergence to a maid.

Of course, the maid labeled it lunacy. To counter, Conwell had his maid hide a pen, without telling him where. That night Sarah came to her husband and told him where to find the pen. The next morning, Conwell came to his maid, pen in hand. Sarah, it has been said, was insulted by her husband’s desire to prove her. She never visited Conwell again.

GROWTH UNCOVERS

Like most city neighborhoods, North Philadelphia had a population jump after World War II, before a precipitous decline in the 1950s. Monument Cemetery became an obstacle. For growth. For homes. For Temple.

In September 1955, a court order was passed, ordering the city to begin transporting the remains from Monument to Rockledge’s Lawnview Cemetery in Montgomery County. Russell and Sarah, together once again, were entombed at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, an act paid for by Temple.

By 1956, Temple bought the cemetery site. The rock walls that separate the Broad Street sidewalk and the parking lot between Montgomery and the Student Pavilion are the last visible reminder of 28,000 dead in Temple’s neighborhood.

Three years later, in June 1959, Temple welcomed two back home. Russell and Sarah were buried in the sidewalk alcove that rests along North Broad Street between Conwell and Wachman Halls. There were photos and coverage from all the major media of the day.

It took more than a decade, though, for the Conwells to have a final resting place, then with much less attention. Just a single clipping from a yellowed copy of The Temple News is all that presented itself to show the last trip Russell and Sarah took. That a short walk to what was then a newly constructed Founder’s Garden. They were settled there late in the summer of 1968. Questions remain whether they have explored other homes for the future.

Text as it appeared in The Temple News on Oct. 30, 2007. See it here.

Number of Views:2386

Attendance spotty at event to improve attendance

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How about having an event to increase attendance and… no one shows up? Ouch.

Well, that’s what happened for a consortium between the business school and the athletic marketing at Temple University. For The Temple News, I covered the finals of a competition that asked Temple students to make suggestions of how to increase fan turnout for athletics event. Outside of me, the pep band, the judges and the contestants, there were scarcely more than ten people there at the widely publicized event. Read the full story here or check its start below.

Earlier tonight, a pep band member submitted his name three times to a raffle in the Fox Gittis Room of the Liacouras Center. He won each time.

Attendance was indeed thin at an event intended to help improve just that, attendance at Temple athletics.

“We are very disappointed,” said Jaine Lucas, who coordinated the event, the finals of the Temple’s sports enthusiasm competition. Lucas is director of the university’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute.

At times, less than 30 people, including just a scattering of fans, watched five Temple students present the six top ideas to help further attract fans to the games, matches and meets of NCAA sports at this university.”

Read the full story here or check its start below.

Photo courtesy of Ron Davis of The Temple News.

Number of Views:1043

Christopher Wink does Hall & Oates

In a world of new media, The Temple News has taken another big step.

In what we hope to be the beginning of a series, with the help of our Online Editor Sean Blanda, I have put together a multimedia profile of pop rock legends and former Temple students, Daryl Hall & John Oates.

Play one of their classics below, read about the band and slip into the deep, wonderful slumber of blue-eyed soul.

I also wrote a second article in placing Hall & Oates in the broader Sound of Philadelphia.

Number of Views:856