Keystone College officially inaugurated David L. Coppola, Ph.D. as its 10th president and 19th leader on Thursday, August 28, 2014 in a stirring ceremony marked by academic pageantry and a promising outlook of innovation and advancement for the college. The theme for the event was, “Carrying Our Legacy of Excellence Forward.”
Dr. Coppola invited Keystone students to ponder great questions of history and of modern times. A Keystone College education can help individuals reflect upon and become prepared to answer those questions.
“The times and people change, but from our very beginning, Keystone College has been dedicated to engaging the important questions of the times while our heart’s compass has remained: civility in pursuit of the common good, commitment to student success, and integrity in all our dealings,” he said.
He encouraged students and all in attendance to follow their dreams as they accomplish important goals for themselves, their communities, the nation, and the world.
“Let your heart be your compass! Live the questions now and you will never be alone in pursuing your dreams,” he said.
More than 1,000 people, including distinguished guests from the local community and representatives from colleges and universities throughout the nation, gathered on the newly refurbished College Green to commemorate the milestone event in Keystone’s proud 146-year history. Dr. Coppola recently completed his first year as president, of Keystone, succeeding Dr. Edward G. Boehm, Jr., who served as Keystone President from 1995-2013 and is now President Emeritus.
“The entire Keystone community was elated to honor Dr. Coppola as our new president,” said Susan S. Belin, Chair of the Keystone College Board of Trustees. “The day provided an opportunity to celebrate Keystone’s continuing progress as one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s leading educational institutions.”
Dr. Coppola came to Keystone with more than 25 years of experience at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Seton Hall University, with a concentration and teaching certification in English and Music. He also earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Sacred Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration from Fordham University.
Prior to Keystone, Dr. Coppola held several positions at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. At Sacred Heart, Dr. Coppola engaged in developing and implementing the university’s strategic plans, master space planning, accreditation, asset and property acquisition, and capital projects and renovations. He played key roles in fundraising, directed oversight of campus operations, and was responsible for managing $24 million of the university’s budget. One of his most significant accomplishments was the development and implementation of a series of five-year strategic plans aimed at incrementally developing and growing the university.
Beginning his career as a teacher at Morris Catholic High School in New Jersey, Dr. Coppola then transitioned to DePaul Diocesan High School in Wayne, N.J., where he served as an administrator for 10 years.
After completing his doctoral studies in educational administration at Fordham University, he made the transition to higher education, joining Sacred Heart University as Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding (CCJU). His success in that post led to his appointment as Executive Assistant to the President, a cabinet-level position. He began significant work in strategic planning and served on essential committees that played a role in the growth of the institution. These experiences prepared him for his role as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Administration, where he served as a member of the president’s senior leaders group and budget development committee.
After only one year on campus, Dr. Coppola has demonstrated his leadership ability on several fronts, including the development of a new college strategic plan on which Keystone can build on its proud history and advance into the future.
Founded in 1868, Keystone College is a leading, comprehensive, student-centered college educating students in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. An independent, co-educational college, Keystone provides distinctive undergraduate programs grounded in a competitive learning environment that fosters integrity, curiosity, and civility. Enrolling nearly 1,700 students, Keystone offers more than 40 degree options in liberal arts and sciences based programs in business, communications, education, fine arts, natural science, environmental resource management, geology, and social sciences. Keystone College students receive a comprehensive education with active and engaged learning opportunities that stimulate interests, improve skills, and ensure career readiness.
For information visit www.keystone.edu/inauguration
Photo Caption: Susan S. Belin, Chair of the Board of Trustees looks on as President Emeritus Dr. Edward G. Boehm, Jr., congratulates President Dr. David L. Coppola during his installation as Keystone College’s 10th president and 19th leader.