About the Foundation

The James F. Keppel Foundation was created in 2003 as a non-profit entity to provide educational scholarships to students here in the Lehigh Valley and around the world.

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Charitable Trust. Each year the Foundation gives out three annual awards to individuals that embody Jim's academic aspirations and spirit for life.

Since its inception, the support has been has been astonishing. However, more funds are necessary to achieve Jim’s goal of making a difference in this world. This foundation will endeavor to meet his goal, one individual at a time but we need your help! This is your opportunity to honor Jim’s life…make your gift today.

About Jim

“What we receive as a gift, we must give as a gift” (Matthew, 10:8) is a very simply Gospel verse. It speaks volumes when applied to James Francis Keppel.

Yale graduation Jim was keenly aware of how fortunate he was in all aspects of his life. Whether it be in relation to his close-knit family—parents Steve and Brenda and siblings Stephen, Jessica and Matthew—friends, classmates, teammates and co-workers, or the educational opportunities offered to him at Yale…he was appreciative.

In an email to his family, Jim wrote, “I am lucky to have so many caring people around me. I have to get back to work but I just want to thank you for always being there for me. And know that I will always be there for you.” Yale football

A 1998 graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School, Jim excelled both academically and athletically. He continued his hard work at Yale University as a member of the football team where he earned All-Ivy honors. After graduation, he went on to work for Sempra Energy with whom he had interned the previous summer. He was enjoying life in New York City until his untimely death of an undetected heart ailment in May of 2003.

Jim’s life, though short, was a special gift to all of us. He wanted to make a difference in the world and felt his education and connections at Yale would give him that opportunity. Jim in his Yale sweater His goal was to work on Wall Street for 10 years and then consider a career in politics.

The generous outpouring of support and love stemming from Jim’s death resulted in the establishment of the James F. Keppel Foundation. The foundation intends to provide scholarships each year to bright, deserving students at home and around the world who otherwise would not have the opportunity to continue their education.

Donate »

Photo Album

The Goal: to share that same educational opportunity with young students in the most desparate of situations…in the most desparate of places.

The Hope: that these young graduates will become leaders in their own countries. In this way, Jim will have achieved his goal of making a real difference in the world, one individual at a time.