Keystone College received a $100,000 gift from Keith W. Eckel, president and sole proprietor of Fred W. Eckel Sons Farms, Inc., Clarks Summit on Feb. 6.
The donation will be used to fund the Eckel Family Pavilion on Keystone’s Woodlands Campus, a 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”). 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,” Keystone College President Dr. David L. Coppola said. “The Eckel Family Pavilion will be a wonderful gathering place for the members of the Keystone community and the public and will connect the academic, athletic and aesthetic dimensions of the Woodlands Campus. We look forward to hosting numerous events which will highlight the beauty of our campus and the hospitality of our students.”
Eckel has long been active in agricultural issues at the local, state, and national levels. He’s 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.
“I am delighted to meet some of the students who will be able to enjoy this facility,” 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.”