PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Former Temple University president Peter J. Liacouras’ energy, enthusiasm and vision are being remembered.
The school put out a statement saying Liacouras died Thursday evening at the age of 85.
Liacouras served as the university's seventh president from 1982 to 2000. Only the university's founder, Russell Conwell, served longer.
He was considered a transformational leader who spearheaded Temple's evolution from a local commuter school to an internationally renowned public research institution.
Liacouras was the first Temple president who was a native Philadelphian.
He spent more than five decades at the university. He was a law professor, served as the dean of the Temple University School of Law for ten years and was later appointed a university chancellor.
"Peter was a man of vision and determination,” said President Neil D. Theobald. “He loved Temple and would do anything he could for the university's greater good, whether that was before, during or after his term as president."
Liacouras is credited with the total number of students and staff living within three blocks of the Main Campus growing by more than 200 percent.
His legacy will continue on Temple’s Main Campus, where more than $900 million was spent on capital projects.
Those projects included the Apollo of Temple, now called the Liacouras Center. Also, he was responsible for the Tuttleman Learning Center, Shusterman Hall and several student residence halls.
The central pedestrian artery is named Liacouras Walk.
Also, the Liacouras Center is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose venue. It was known as the Apollo of Temple, but was renamed and dedicated to Peter Liacouras on February 13, 2000.
The 340,000 sq. ft. building is located on N. Broad Street. It’s a full entertainment arena featuring concerts, family shows, Temple Men’s and Women’s Basketball games and more.
The Temple 'T' logo was designed by Tyler School of Art students during Liacouras' presidency.
Peter J. Liacouras was 85 and died after a long illness.
A memorial service will be held at next Friday, May 20, at 11am in the Temple Performing Arts Center.
Liacouras and Temple
Chancellor, Temple University, 2000-present
President, Temple University, 1982-2000
Dean, Temple University School of Law, 1972-1982