Campus News News

The Presidential Couple: A Look at President Cooper’s Valentine’s Day

By Greg Allen

Co-Editor In Chief


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Photo courtesy of Mary Beth Cooper Facebook Page


For many, Valentine’s Day is one of the most important days of the year.  Some have it circled on their calendars so they don’t have to rush to the local flower shop on their way home from work for some last-minute roses. Others wait all year to smell those roses, taste delicious chocolate-covered strawberries, and, if they’re lucky, be greeted by a giant teddy bear. All in all, for those in love, Valentine’s Day is always special.

However, not every couple is fortunate enough to be able to spend Valentine’s Day as a unit. Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper and her husband Dave were one of those couples this year due to Dave’s work schedule. The Coopers will have the opportunity to celebrate together this weekend. They will probably go into Northampton or the surrounding area for an evening.

“We are trying to expand our knowledge of Western Massachusetts and try new places.”

Wherever the Coopers decide to celebrate, the president said that it will be planned around events on campus like the lacrosse scrimmage, the National Girls and Women in Sport Day event, the Legacy Ball and an alumni event in Boston.

Although they were unable to celebrate Valentine’s Day together on Tuesday, the Coopers hid cards for one another before Dave departed for New York. Mary-Beth hid her card in Dave’s packed bags so that when he returned to New York he was greeted with a loving note.

Cooper enjoys Valentine’s Day and hiding cards, but she feels that the love in her relationship goes well beyond one day. It’s 365 days.

“We’re a team that’s how we see ourselves,” Cooper said.  “We’re always focused on the other person.  As a unit, there’s no special traditions for Valentine’s Day, but we are consistently focusing on the other. We are Team Cooper.”

The love started back in 1985 when the two met on an old fashioned blind date at Ithaca College long before Tinder was created. Mary-Beth was working there full time, and Dave was working in Rochester, NY. The two were set up by one of Mary-Beth’s staff colleagues (he was an RA with Dave at SUNY Oswego), and the relationship took off from there.  The couple was later married on a college campus, and then their son, Cal, was christened on a college campus. Bringing the love to Springfield College brought the relationship “full circle.”

“As a couple, being on a college campus has really been important to us,” Cooper said.

For Cooper, Valentine’s Day is a day “where you can really show the love, appreciation, and support for the other.” She was thrilled to see all the love and appreciation circulating on social media. It was a feel good day.

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