Temple University VP for Student Affairs Dr. Theresa A. Powell Dies

Dr. Theresa A. Powell, Temple University’s Vice President for Student Affairs, has died unexpectedly on Jan. 2. Her death occurred while visiting family in her native state of Texas.Dr. Theresa A. PowellDr. Theresa A. Powell

Renowned nationally in the student affairs profession, Powell was one of the leaders of Temple’s Division of Student Affairs, where she worked to reimagine student affairs and created programs to produce a more vibrant and active Temple campus.

"Dr. Powell was the epitome of excellence and elevated the lives of many at Temple University," said Temple President Dr. Jason Wingard. "She was passionate about student success and kept them at the forefront of her work for decades. She will be missed and her legacy will guide Temple and the Division of Student Affairs long into the future."

Powell was a trusted and respected member of the Temple community, with students benefiting from her guidance and staff members benefiting from her coaching. 

“She was a mentor, an advisor, a guide, a mother figure, and a champion to so many people. She was just so beloved,” said Dr. Stephanie Ives, associate vice president and dean of students at Temple. “Countless, countless people, both here at Temple and in the entire student affairs field, benefited from her. People are leaders in the profession today because of her mentoring and her coaching. She was just so selfless, and she gave and gave.”

Powell was president of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), where she was also given the John L. Blackburn Distinguished Pillar Award. She was also one of Diverse’s 2022 Women’s History Month honorees. She served on the board of many organizations, including the Dr. Melvin C. Terrell Educational Foundation Inc. 

Powell held a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania; a master’s degree in student personnel services from Texas Christian University; and a doctoral degree in educational administration from The Ohio State University.