Advisory Board Member

Delano R. Copprue, PhD

Delano Copprue serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Completed Life Initiative. As a Henry Rutgers Scholar, he graduated summa cum laude with a major in English and a minor in art history from Rutgers College. His undergraduate honors thesis examines the underpinnings of American Transcendentalism in the writings of Emerson and Thoreau. Seeking to extend his literary studies, Delano attended Columbia University in the City of New York as a Marjorie Hope Nicolson Fellow. At Columbia, he earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate while conducting original archival research for Harvard University Press, collaborating on book projects with New York City writers, and participating in Columbia’s Jazz Studies program. His doctoral thesis investigates how the improvisational nature of jazz music can be used as a critical lens for interpreting canonical American writers ranging from Hawthorne and Melville to Morrison and Ellison. A specialist in nineteenth-century American literature, Dr. Copprue has published widely on various aspects of history, philosophy, literary criticism, music, and popular culture.


Delano’s teaching career began at Columbia, where he taught literature and writing courses for over a decade. Over the course of his two decades of teaching, Delano has taught students of all ages, and he remains a proponent of the inherent value of lifelong learning. He brings to his board appointment academic expertise on virtue ethics, clinical trials, and patient’s rights from summers spent teaching first-year medical students.


Dr. Copprue resides in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife Margaret Mack, and he enjoys studying the humanities and watching the New York Mets.


“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“Thoreau’s distinctive sense of humor invites each of us to consider what it means to live “deliberately.” Since encountering Thoreau as a young person, I continue to find his words and wisdom deeply inspirational. As a lifelong learner, I remain ever curious about what life teaches, and this curiosity resides at the heart of my work with CLI.”