As a member of the Temple University
Board of Trustees Lewis Katz is a thoughtful voice of authority who
places the best interest of Temple students above all other considerations. By the authority vested in me on behalf
of the Board of Trustees I confer upon Lewis Katz the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa with all the rights, honors and
privileges pertaining thereto [applause] First I want to thank my colleagues on the Board of Trustees I want to thank our Chairman. Not only is
he is as good a Chairman as I’ve ever seen in any organization but he’s also become one of my closest, closest friends and
for that I thank my university, my faculty, wonderful speakers, my co-honorees and you the Class of 2014 So here we are, the day some of you thought would never come Before we do anything else let’s just take in this scene. This is the day the milestone, look around at all the people up there who love you, who adore you, and who honor you, up there [applause] remember how much they helped
you reach this day and most importantly remember how proud they are of all of you. I just had a thought this would be an opportune time to ask them for more
money He is so jealous that I get some funny
laughs Been that way for fifty-years, always jealous of my jokes Temple University What a place! Maybe you think it’s just that chapter, a stopping off
place, place to grab some wisdom. You leave here ready to face that other place the place they call the real world, but
you may also find that you carry this place called Temple with you into that world. You may find
as I have that it will always, always, be a part of your life, because You’re Temple Made. You’re Temple Made. We’re Temple Made! [applause] I come to this campus, I came here I know you’re not gonna believe because
my face fifty-five years ago, as a poor, insecure, fatherless kid from Camden, New Jersey Tuition was three hundred and fifty dollars a
semester. My mother was a better planner than your
mothers. Without temple giving me a scholarship, my mom had two jobs and two kids and my dad died
when I was one so it wasn’t an easy time without that scholarship my future would have been terribly, terribly bleak. I was scared, I was so unsure of
myself and I remember my first day feeling like I was on another planet, I was lost I pushed myself to get involved. I made friends fifty years ago who found their way into my heart and into my soul and believe it or not fifty years later three of them are sitting up behind me… fifty years later. Trustee, I want you to listen to this,
Trustee Phil Richards who founded North Star insurance brokerage, one of
the largest insurance brokerage firms in the entire
United States. Stand up, Phil. And next to him Bob Rovner, who became the youngest state senator in
the history of Pennsylvania. And the other trustee is an aspiring comedian who is still looking for his
first break in show business. [applause] You know, we’ve been teasing each other for fifty years. One night we went to a basketball game together, he was a partner, we bought the
New Jersey Nets and we were sitting together and I wanted, you know, I
always liked to give it to him so I leaned over and I remember it like
yesterday I said, “I have a lot more than money you do.” [laughter] just then I don’t know how, the camera guy, you know,
how they run over to the celebrity and they put his face on all the arenas and he said, “I don’t see your
face up there, Lewis.” So, looking back at my Temple experience, probably the single most important event in my
career, happened not inside but outside the
classroom. Our Dean of Students suggested that he wanted to have some campus life kids came on a subway, we went to class, we went home on the subway, so he said to
me, I was working in the cloakroom, in Mitten Hall and somebody else was
working there but he doesn’t say he was working there anymore, you know, that was that’s a little bit below him, so he said why don’t you start up a
program where you’ll have like an entertainment hour for the kids to come to for free. We called it the Hour of Pleasure. –Not that kinda pleasure We didn’t do things like that in those days So, So here was the way it worked. We got fifty dollars. a show. In those days, I was making a
dollar an hour in the cloakroom. Doctor Cosby was just getting funnier and funnier in a place called Greenwich Village so
he was kinda disappearing. We figured out he could be a great booking agent from
the Village to Temple, so, he would meet somebody talk to them and I remember one group
they say–all you kids won’t know but everybody up there will know– he brought down the Mamas and the Papas, and they were wonderful. We paid them thirty-five dollars, that left over fifteen dollars Launching that show taught me marketing, creativity, and it really got me my first job, and
from there my journey was just beginning. I tell you all this because I hope you realize that this school can be your launching pad. It’s recognized, it’s respected, and it’s
loved by its alumni. It’s not an Ivory Tower
place. Nobody walking around like with their crew sweaters and their noses
in the air. We’re Real [applause] And if learned anything, and I’ll now be serious, from Bill Cosby. I learned at a very young age of twenty if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. Now, that’s not to say that there won’t
be knockdowns. Life has taught me that the only way to win when you’re knocked down is to get up, dust yourself off, and go back into the race. When I was a kid I dreamed of being an NBA player but after being cut from my junior high school team and my
high school team I realized the only way I wasn’t going to get cut was if I bought an NBA team. [applause] We bought the New Jersey Nets, my partners and I, in 1998. One week after buying it the players went on strike. The NBA shut down and they canceled half of the season We quickly lost millions of dollars knock-down number one … We then went out, because the
governor said if you want to build a new arena in
Newark, New Jersey you gotta have two teams so we bought the New Jersey Devils. We lost more
millions knock-down number two Finally somebody suggested that if we could merge the basketball
team which played six months from April to October with the baseball team excuse me… the baseball team April to October and the basketball November through maybe May we could start a television network by showing those two teams so our partnership bought half of something called the New York Yankees and… No, I hate the Yanks… I’m a Phillies I come from Camden, we don’t televise
Yankees in Camden. Well we started something called YES and it became the most successful regional sports network in history and we sold it to FOX sports and then we didn’t lose. I told you I was richer than Bill Cosby So what is the message? the messages is two things the messages is patience and the message is grit Now I want to tell you
something about your class that none of you know. I have a friend in your class that has more patience and more grit than any
human being I’ve ever met and if I may I want to
tell you that he’s graduating today and it has taken him twenty-eight years working here to get this degree. Now will you find Chappie for me Captian Jeff Chapman of Temple Security Twenty-eight years! now that is patience ! And what about
grit? Chappie, just had, at the age of, I don’t know what are you sixty-nine? Twins, six-months-old that’s grit! he didn’t quit! Took a while Chappie but you made it
happen. So let me let me wrap up this and let me say as much as I can be serious that life in my view is meant to be enjoyed it’s meant to have as much fun as you can conjure up you may not come up with the cure for Cancer. You may not
start-up a large internet company, very few people have the beautiful voice of Jill Scott or the scientific mind of Doctor Jim West but what you can do is make every effort in your life to make a difference remember success isn’t about material things watch, study people you admire as much as I make fun of him and as funny as he is I most admire him when he talks about
education because when Bill talks about education and parental
responsibility the whole world should listen Work matters but family matters more Don’t sell your soul to the workplace don’t sell your soul to the work place. make time for those who need you and for the
causes you believe in and hold onto this hope… it keeps us going work work, gives life meaning time I would like to have a dollar in my life for all the time I wasted. If somebody tried to take money I’d fight like hell But, when somebody said “can I have an hour, two hours…” Sure Don’t give away your time to fools because you never get it back and love…without love what’s the point of all this? and yes, Temple Made! So, I will conclude by giving you what I think is the mantra of my life there
was a basketball coach maybe the best ever in college at UCLA by the name of John Wooden he said one thing that has resonated
with me for as long as I’ve lived he said you can’t live a perfect day you can’t live a perfect day without doing some for someone who will
never be able to repay you…who will never be able to repay you how fortunate am I to be standing here today, able to give back because some unknown person fifty-some
years ago funded a scholarship at Temple and an unknown person made the decision to open that door and give that scholarship to kid from Camden my hope and prayer for you my
friends is that some day you graduates will be able to do the same Godspeed and God bless you all [applause]