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Keystone College President David L. Coppola, Ph.D., recently presented a paper on the plight of immigrants and displaced persons during an international conference in Rome.

Dr. Coppola presented to a group of about 70 college and university presidents

Dr. Coppola presented his paper, Setting a Context for Colleges and Universities: The Ethical Responsibility of People of Good Will Towards Migrants and Refugees at the conference, “International Initiatives for Migrant and Refugee Education” held in November at Gregorian University in Rome. The conference served as the first of several initiatives inviting educational institutions to help address and improve the predicament of migrants and refugees around the world.

Dr. Coppola presented to a group of about 70 college and university presidents from around the world and another 90 participants from the United Nations and other NGOs (non-governmental organizations); leaders from Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East; Vatican officials; and some doctoral students.

Pope Francis warmly welcomed the group and affirmed the important work of colleges and universities to promote research, teach with justice and global responsibility, and be involved in social engagement to “welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants and refugees.”


“It was a great honor to be asked to present at this important international conference and an even greater honor to be granted a few moments with Pope Francis.” ~ President David L. Coppola

“I told him of the strong commitment of Keystone students who volunteer 26,000 hours a year in the community and of the educational camps Keystone sponsors each summer for the children of migrant workers. He also seemed to be especially pleased that my two young sons liked his book, Dear Pope Francis, his book that answers letters from children around the world.”


Prior to becoming Keystone College’s 10th president in 2013, Dr. Coppola held several leadership positions at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Conn., including serving as executive director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding, where he led several international conferences to promote understanding between Jews, Christian, and Muslims, two of which Pope John Paul II personally supported.

Enrolling about 1,400 students, Keystone offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree options in liberal arts and science-based programs in business, communications, education, fine arts, natural science, environmental resource management, geology, and social sciences. Located 15 minutes from Scranton, Pa. and two hours from New York City and Philadelphia, Keystone is known for small class sizes and individual attention focused on student success through internships, research, and community involvement.