Community members, friends and former co-workers of Northampton Community College's late former president, Robert Kopecek, celebrated his life today in the campus building named in his honor.
Kopecek, 76, died of lymphoma in April in his North Carolina home. He served as the college's president for 26 years until his retirement in 2003. The college’s enrollment grew sharply under his leadership and he led the push for NCC to build residence halls.
Kopecek’s wife and children returned from North Carolina and New York, respectively, for the memorial. Former co-workers, students and friends shared both tears and laughter as they remembered Kopecek at the Lipkin Theatre in Kopecek Hall. Bagpipers from Liberty High School’s Grenadier Band opened the remembrance with a prelude and ended with “Amazing Grace.” Colleagues who spoke praised his visionary leadership and compassion.