(Posted March 13, 2018)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. — Thomas R. Kepple Jr., President Emeritus of Juniata College, will receive the 2018 Art Ciervo Award from CUPRAP: College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals at the organization’s annual conference and awards dinner in Lancaster on March 15, 2018. 

The Ciervo Award is conferred upon a public relations professional, president, higher education advocate, public official or outstanding faculty or staff member who exemplifies CUPRAP’s fundamental purposes of supporting and advancing the understanding of higher education. The award is named in honor of Arthur V. Ciervo, founder and first president of CUPRAP.

Past winners of the Ciervo award include former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford, Albright College President Emeritus Lex O. McMillan, former Pennsylvania Governor Mark S. Schweiker, former U.S. Department of Education assistant secretary of postsecondary education Sally Stroup, and Mary Ann Eisenreich, former executive director of Pennsylvania Women Work. 

The organization’s nominating committee recognized Kepple for more than his accomplishments during the time he led Juniata through a transformative period of ambitious building, the college’s most successful capital campaign in its history, expanded academic programing, and efforts to internationalize and diversify the college.

The award announcement noted Kepple’s leadership at the American Academic Leadership Institute. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AALI is a non-profit organization that works to strengthen academic leadership in all sectors of public and private higher education. The award also recognized Kepple’s role as the founding chair of the Tuition Plan Consortium, a non-profit organization formed to offer the Private 529 Plan, a prepaid-tuition plan for families that send children to any of more than 250 private colleges.

Kepple’s service as vice-chair of former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s higher education transition team, chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, and founding chair of the Landmark Athletic Conference were also noted. 

CUPRAP is a voluntary organization of communications professionals from colleges, universities and independent schools dedicated to advancing the understanding of higher education and enhancing the professional development of its members. Founded in Pennsylvania in 1980 as one of the nation’s few statewide organizations, CUPRAP has more than 350 members from 100 institutions, several of whom are from outside Pennsylvania.


Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.