Keystone receives gift for Eckel Family Pavilion
La Plume - Keystone College has received a $100,000 gift from Keith W. Eckel, president and sole proprietor of Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms, Inc., Clarks Summit, Pa.
The donation will be used to fund the Eckel Family Pavilion on Keystone’s Woodlands Campus, a beautiful 170-acre section of the college’s La Plume campus featuring streams, hiking trails, fields, an apple orchard, and a maple sugaring operation (the “Sugar Shack”). Mr. Eckel presented the gift to Keystone in honor of his brother, the late Frederick D. Eckel, a 1957 Keystone graduate.
The new pavilion will serve as an outdoor gathering place for Keystone students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as residents of the local community. The facility will be located near the site of the college’s new $3.4 million field and track complex. Construction of the new pavilion is scheduled to begin this spring and is expected to be finished during the summer months.
“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Eckel for this exceedingly generous gift,” said Keystone College President Dr.
Mr. Eckel has long been active in agricultural issues at the local, state, and national levels. He is past president of the Lackawanna County Cooperative Extension Association and the Endless Mountain Dairy Cooperative and is a member of the Green Grove Grange, among other organizations.
Nationally, he is chairman of the board of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, a former member of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee, a charter member of the National Dairy Board, and a former member of the U.S. Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables and the USDA's Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Advisory Committee.
Mr. Eckel was particularly drawn to the idea of a pavilion as a way to bring the college and community together in learning and recreation.
“I am delighted to meet some of the students who will be able to enjoy this facility,” Mr. Eckel said during a recent visit to campus. “Keystone has been a part of my family’s tradition and a great resource in our region for more than 100 years and remains in my heart and hopes for future generations. I know students who attend this school will succeed in life. This gift represents my vote of confidence for Keystone’s continued progress.”
Photo Caption: Keith W. Eckel (left), sole proprietor and president of Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms, Inc., Clarks Summit, Pa., presents a check for $100,000 to Keystone College President Dr.