An upcoming dinner will spotlight the Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J., and his dedication to education in Scranton.

On Friday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m., NativityMiguel School of Scranton will host a virtual dinner to honor Keller, the longest-serving president of Scranton Preparatory School and current vice president for mission and ministry at University of Scranton. Keller has been an integral part of NMS, said Robert H. Angeloni, the school’s president. Keller joined the school’s board around 2015, and to have a Jesuit be part of NMS was a great accomplishment, he noted.

“That was really a feather in our cap,” Angeloni said. “His reputation in education meant a great deal to us. “We’re a middle school, but these really are the formative years, and Father Keller’s vast contacts and experience he brought to us helps to give the students a great chance to succeed.”

Dave Hawk, chairman of the local NMS board of trustees and a past honoree, echoed Angeloni in a press release.

“We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to recognize Father Keller for his many contributions to education throughout his entire life and the lasting impact that he has had on so many lives,” Hawk said.

Now in its sixth year, NMS is a tuition-free, independent Catholic middle school that aims to empower students to reach their full potential in and out of the classroom as leaders and role models in their families and communities. Made up of students from Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, NMS is a member of the national coalition of NativityMiguel Schools and strives to provide education to economically challenged students.

The event was originally scheduled for June and then postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual event has been pre-recorded, though Angeloni said board members feel grateful to honor Keller in any capacity.

“Father Keller is a very humble man, and for him to put himself out into the community, virtually or in person, is a major achievement for us,” Angeloni said.

Tickets to the virtual event cost $150 and can be purchased online at

Proceeds from the event benefit the school’s budget, which is entirely dependent on fundraising. For more information on tickets, call 570-955-5176.

In a press release, Keller stressed the importance of community support to continue programs such as NMS, which has placed students in respected high schools including Scranton Prep, Wyoming Seminary, Holy Cross High School and Milton Hershey School.

“I have witnessed firsthand the important work being done by NativityMiguel of Scranton and continue to be impressed with the outstanding success the students have achieved,” Keller said.