Keystone College will celebrate the inauguration of incoming president David L. Coppola, Ph.D. on the college campus on Thursday, Aug. 28. Coppola is Keystone’s 10th president and 19th leader since its inception as Keystone Academy in 1868.
The installation ceremony will begin at 12:45 p.m. on College Green, followed by an inaugural reception in the Hibbard Campus Center immediately following the ceremony. An inaugural dinner will be held at 6 p.m. on College Green. In addition to members of the Keystone community, including students, faculty, staff, board of trustees members, alumni and college friends, the event will feature guests from the local community and representatives of educational institutions throughout northeast Pennsylvania, the state and the nation. The theme of the inauguration will be “Carrying Our Legacy of Excellence Forward.”
Coppola recently completed his first year as president, succeeding Dr. Edward G. Boehm Jr., who served as Keystone President from 1995-2013 and now serves as president emeritus.
“The entire Keystone community looks forward to honoring Dr. Coppola as our new president,” said Susan S. Belin, chair of the Keystone College Board of Trustees. “The day will provide an opportunity to celebrate Keystone’s continuing advances as one of northeast Pennsylvania’s leading educational institutions.”
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, Coppola held several positions at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. At Sacred Heart, 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, Coppola then transitioned to DePaul Diocesan High School in Wayne, N.J., where he served as an administrator for ten 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, campus officials say that 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.