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CAMPUS PHILLY: Meet Temple's Homecoming King

Thomas Green

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of high-achieving students who are engaged with the city and region in impactful ways, made possible through a content partnership with Campus Philly.

Name: Thomas Green
Hometown: Orangeburg, SC
School and Year: Temple University, class of 2013
Major: Theater, Acting concentration
Extracurriculars: Main Campus Program Board (MCPB), Director of External Affairs for Babel (poetry collective), Dynasty (modeling troupe), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Coming Out Week (NCOW) Planning Committee
Hobbies: Working out ("It’s my peace of mind," he says), poetry, writing

Campus Philly: Why did you choose Philly?

Thomas Green: One of my friends’ older sister went to Temple for theater and she was telling me about Temple [and] how great it was. I went to the website, decided to apply. I was actually wait-listed because I waited so long to apply and I was devastated. So, I was sending out emails, writing essays about why I should be admitted. As soon as I emailed the head of the Theater Department at the time, she responded and said, "I’m glad you [reached out] because the director of admissions just [reached out] to me to see if I knew any candidates who should be admitted." So here I am.

CP: What led you to run for Homecoming King?

TG:I wasn’t going to run—at all. My friend was like, "I think you should run for Homecoming King," and I was like, "I think I shouldn’t." (laughs) [But] it’s a great way to put yourself out there. It’s a great way to meet people and have them meet you.
I took it to a different level and all the candidates actually started copying me. Before school started, I bought an iPad with a keyboard. The very first day we were able to announce that we were running for Homecoming Court, I was just walking around [with the iPad] saying, "I’m Thom. I’m running for Homecoming King. Do you mind voting for me real quick?" I probably approached 100 people every day.

I felt like Temple needed a face. A lot of times [in] our pictures, we have paint on our face. I wanted to show other ways to get involved besides just going to the football games. Community involvement is a big thing. Just the small things, that’s what [people] remember, and that’s what they’ll remember about Temple–if you engage a community that’s when they say Temple really makes a difference.

CP: What will you do now that you’ve won?

TG: (Homecoming Queen) Ariel and I are actually working on this event between Babel and one of the organizations she’s a part of. We are going to put on some poetry events for Philadelphia youth so kids can know that there are different ways to express themselves besides violence and nasty words. Since Philadelphia has so many educational budget cuts, the arts aren’t in the schools anymore, so the kids don’t know those other elements of expression.

CP: Can you tell us more about working at the community center over the summer?

TG: I had to teach each group [of kids] theater, which was so stressful. I don’t think anyone could imagine what it’s like teaching a five-year-old how to be onstage. To be honest, I didn’t see change in a lot of students, but to see a few students gradually grow over the summer and appreciate theater…was just a great experience.

At first it was just about the job, but when you work with kids, you have to have some type of passion because the paycheck will eventually mean nothing to you. There would be days when I was so invested in the work that I wouldn’t even remember when payday was. You just build these connections.

CP: What’s next for you?

TG: After college, I’m really trying to go to grad school. I’m going to use the fall semester to [reach out] to theater companies, just to work on what’s coming next.

CP: Any advice for other students?

TG: Get involved. You’re paying so much to come here. I try to use every dollar—everytime they have free events, I go to them. I was from South Carolina [and] I just developed a new home here.
Want to be Campus Philly’s next Student of the Month?  E-mail [email protected] and tell us why we should pick you.
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