Former Temple University President Peter Liacouras dies

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This is a sad day for the Temple University community. (WPVI)

Former Temple University President Peter J. Liacouras has died.

The university confirmed Friday that Liacouras died Thursday after a long illness. He was 85.

Liacouras was Temple's seventh president, serving from 1982 to 2000, and was the school's second-longest-serving president. Only Temple's founder, Russell Conwell, served longer.

Before being named president, Liacouras served as Dean of the Temple Law School from 1972 - 1982. After stepping down as president in 2000 he was appointed a university chancellor.

"Peter was a man of vision and determination," said Temple's current president, Neil D. Theobald, in a statement. "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 was widely seen as a transformational leader for Temple. During his tenure the university grew from a local commuter school to a research institution with international reach.

And the student body grew larger, more diverse and more international.

Liacouras chose the now iconic "T", which became the university's widely recognized insignia world wide. And signs of Liacouras' legacy can still be seen on the school's main campus. Both the central walkway, Liacouras Walk, and the school's marquis basketball and entertainment center, The Liacouras Center, bear his name.

A memorial service for Peter Liacouras will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday May 20th in the Temple Performing Arts Center.

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