Mary-Beth A. Cooper, PhD, DM, became the 13th President of Springfield College in August 2013, bringing to the College her experience from a long and distinguished career in higher education administration and community service.
With her leadership, the Springfield College community has experienced a unified rededication to its Humanics philosophy and mission of leadership in service to others, and has committed itself to educational excellence through cultivation of partnerships that allow students to produce new knowledge and that engage diverse populations. Through an extensive and continuous strategic planning process, she fosters an internal environment that reflects shared governance among faculty, staff, and students, and an external environment that is safe and welcoming for the College community and its city neighbors.
She has created a strategic vision to build an institution that provides a student-centric experience and has overseen the implementation of many initiatives in support of that vision. Most recently, she worked with faculty, staff, and students to create the innovative Harold C. Smith Learning Commons that brings together faculty excellence, technology, and library services to create a full-service learning, research, and project space. Under her leadership, Springfield College and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation partnered to create an intercollegiate adaptive baseball field, to be enjoyed by athletes of all abilities and contained within the championship-quality intercollegiate baseball field. This field, referred to as the "Springfield Model" by the Ripken Foundation, is the first of its kind and includes an artificial turf field, bullpens, batting cages, a new grandstand, a new scoreboard, and sound system that serves both the adaptive and the Springfield College team fields.
Known for her volunteer leadership, President Cooper serves on the President’s Council of the NCAA, chairs the Board of Directors for Educare Springfield. She is a past chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts and of the NEWMAC Athletic Conference. She remains on the board of each organization. In addition, she serves on the Boards of the Council of Independent Colleges, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Springfield Museums, DevelopSpringfield, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. She serves on the Name, Image, and Likeness Committee of the NCAA and previously served on the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Committee on Policy Analysis and Public Relations and was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to serve on the Special Commission to Study the Incorporation of Safe and Effective Pain Treatment and Prescribing Practices into the Professional Training of Students that may Prescribe Controlled Substances.
President Cooper earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware, a Master of Education from the University of Georgia, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester, a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration from Michigan State University, and a Doctor of Management from Case Western Reserve University.
President Cooper lives on the Springfield College campus with her husband, Dave and their chocolate lab, Jack. They have a son, Calvin, a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Services.