Kutztown University awards honorary Doctorate to Sandra L. Corpora ’69 and Placido “Pat” A. Corpora

Kutztown University awarded Sandra L. Corpora ’69 and Placido “Pat” A. Corpora an honorary doctorate at the institution’s 2023 Spring Commencement Ceremony Saturday, May 13, at O’Pake Fieldhouse.

The Corporas received a Doctor of Public Service. The degree was presented by university president Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson.

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From an early age, Sandra L. Corpora ’69 demonstrated exceptional ability at drawing and painting. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Kutztown State College in 1969. She worked in advertising, illustration and design until starting her career at Rodale, Inc., where she was promoted to creative director in 1978. The 50-person department she led created all the sales and marketing materials for Rodale’s magazines and books. Those creative materials won numerous industry awards and she spoke at marketing conferences in the U.S. and Canada about how to create successful promotions.

Sandra made the big decision to become a full-time artist in 1990. She studied with some recognized professional painters and worked at her craft to refine her skills. Among her recognitions, Sandra is a signature member of Oil Painters of America, where she won an Award of Excellence. She is a signature member of American Women Artists, where she has also won an Award of Excellence. Sandra is a member of the American Impressionist Society and the Portrait Painters of America, where she was a finalist in the Members Competition. Sandra teaches and conducts workshops and has been a juror for several regional and national exhibitions and has curated exhibitions. She’s written a series of articles for the British magazine The Artist, where her painting was chosen to appear on the cover. She has had more than a dozen solo exhibitions. Her work is in private and public collections worldwide, including KU, where her portrait of Dr. Javier Cevallos hangs in the Hall of Presidents.

During her career at Rodale, she served on the board of the Girls Club of Allentown, the Catholic Social Agency and the Kemmerer Museum. She has also donated her time to Historic Bethlehem’s major yearly fundraiser, the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts where she’s conducted master classes.

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As part of her commitment to the next generation of artists, Sandra established the Sandra Corpora ’69 Presidential Scholarship for Art Studies in 2007. She also generously funded the annual Summer Workshop Scholarships for KU students to have the opportunity to work with nationally recognized artists in professional studios and in 2021, she established the Skye’s The Limit Emergency Fund for students needing basic assistance while attending Kutztown.

Placido “Pat” A. Corpora is currently president of Corpora Consulting, a consulting service focusing on direct response strategy and implementation. He has proven his abilities in leading direct to consumer businesses to success in each of his major employment assignments.

During his 20-year career at Rodale, Inc. and as president of Rodale Books, he guided the group to industry-leading growth through intensive research, innovative product development and creative customer acquisition efforts, featuring the most advanced direct to consumer database techniques in publishing. As SVP of Marketing at AOL, he applied innovative direct to consumer database segmentation, aggressive online marketing and enhanced customer service registration methods that allowed AOL to achieve record membership levels. Lastly, as CEO at HCI Direct, a private equity-owned company, Pat took a one-dimensional hosiery company and transformed it into a vibrant multi-product organization.

In 2008, following the successful sale of HCI Direct, he launched his consulting business working with an extensive and varied list of direct-to-consumer companies. In 2012, Pat led a revenue and earnings turnaround at Healthy Directions, LLC, by first stepping in as their CEO, then assuming the role of executive chairman of the Board. The company successfully sold in 2014. Most recently, as Chairman of the Board, he advised the owners and executives at Paul Fredrick on business strategy and a successful sales process.

Pat is a graduate of Moravian University and a current member of the university’s Board of Trustees. He is a board member and sits on the loan committee of the Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, making loans available to area small businesses that are not bankable. During the growing season, he organizes work at the Burnside Plantation Garden that delivers fresh produce to local food pantries. He has raised nearly $150,000 by participating multiple times in the 500-mile Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer. Along with his two sisters, he established an endowed scholarship at Moravian University that is awarded to first-generation college students.

Lastly, Sandra and Pat are founding members of the Kutztown University Arts Society and continue to generously support KU philanthropically. In addition, they’ve established a Charitable Donor Advised Fund that supports a number of organizations focused on Education, Human Services, Animal Welfare, Wildland Conservation, Alternative Transportation, Historic Preservation and the Visual and Performing Arts.

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Berks Weekly
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