Shippensburg University remembers Jeffrey W. Coy

Jeffrey W. Coy—alumnus, avid supporter, and sitting chair of the Shippensburg University Council of Trustees—passed away this morning.

“Chairman Coy was one of our most distinguished alumni and one of the strongest supporters of Shippensburg University. His service and contributions to the campus and community shall live on, and we are forever indebted to him,” said Shippensburg University President Laurie A. Carter. “On behalf of the campus community, we extend our sincerest condolences to Chairman Coy’s wife, Jo Anne.”  

A Shippensburg native and 1973 graduate of the university, Coy made a tremendous impact on his hometown, alma mater, and across the state over his lifetime. Elected as chair of SU Council of Trustees on June 9, 2017, he also served on the Council of Trustees from 1975-1982, including serving as chair for three years, and the State System Board of Governors from 1985 to 2005.

Coy graduated from Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in government administration in 1973. In 1974, he was recognized by Shippensburg Jaycees who named him Young Man of the Year. He received an honorary Doctorate in Public Service and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Shippensburg University.

During President Carter’s inauguration in April, Coy spoke on behalf of the Council of Trustees, voicing his support and welcoming Carter to her new role at the university.

“Jeff was an incredible friend to the university and to many of us, especially my family,” said Shippensburg University President Emeritus Anthony F. Ceddia. “He will be remembered as someone who was instrumental in the development of the university he loved so much. As an alumnus and a legislator, he was many things to many people, but most of all, he was a great friend.”

He was elected to the state House of Representatives from the 89th Legislative District in 1982, serving eleven terms. Coy served as Minority Caucus Secretary, the fourth-highest leadership position in the Democratic Caucus. As secretary, he was responsible for tracking votes on the House floor and working with leadership to develop legislation and policy. He served in House leadership since 1993, when he was first elected as Majority Caucus Chairman.

In the House, Coy served on the Ethics and Rule committee and was treasurer of the joint State Government Commission, a research arm of the General Assembly.

A strong supporter of public education, Coy led the fight for quality preschool education, full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes in the early grades, and safer schools.

He was one of two state House members who served on the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, which oversees the state-owned universities.

When he left the House in 2004, he was named a commissioner on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, retiring from the board in 2010.

Coy remained active in his community. Most recently, he served as right Worshipful Grand Treasurer of the Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. 

He served on the board of directors of Orrstown Bank for thirty-four years.

Previously, he was president of West End Fire and Rescue in Shippensburg, served on the board of directors for WITF, and was named honorary chairman of the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter during a transition in management. He was fundraising chairman of Friends of Memorial Park Pool. He also was an adjunct professor of government at Wilson College.

Coy and his wife were active members of Memorial Lutheran Church in Shippensburg, where he served as church organist for more than 40 years.

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