By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today was a big day for thousands of Temple University students — and a big day for the school.

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Some 8,500 Temple seniors graduated today in the university’s 125th commencement, at the Liacorus Center in North Philadelphia.

University spokesman Ray Betzner says this is the biggest graduating class that Temple’s ever had:

“That’s right — Temple’s been growing over the years, and as we have larger freshman classes, four years later those students are graduating.”

(KYW Newsradio desk assistant Tyler Dougherty was a Temple graduate today. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

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And Betzner says a large graduating class is good for the city.

“One of the things we’ve discovered is that students come to Temple University because they want to be part of Philadelphia,” he notes, “and if they can find jobs in the Philadelphia area, even if they’re not from Philly, they want to stay in Philly.  So we’re gaining brains.”

And Betzner says the school is working to accommodate all those brains:

“Temple is building the largest residential complex in its history,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “We’re going to have almost 1,300 beds when it’s done and open next year.”

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