Joseph Coffee

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Joseph Coffee (right)

Joseph Denis Coffee, Jr. CC '41 (1918 - 2011) was a John Jay Award winner, university trustee and president of the Columbia Club.

Early life and career

Coffee was born in 1918 in Glen Falls, NY. He attended Columbia College and was the chairman of the Class Day Committee in 1941. He was also a member of the Senior Society of Nacoms.

From 1946 - 1950, Coffee was assistant to the general secretary of Columbia University. He was in the Navy during World War II, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In 1942, Coffee was naval aide to President Roosevelt.

Coffee was appointed associate dean in charge of college development for Columbia College in 1959. Prior to being named associate dean, Coffee was director of Columbia College Development Program. Coffee also served as president of Columbia University Club, and secretary of Columbia College Council. Coffee was also director of the Columbia College Fund.

Coffee helped start Dean's Day, the John Jay Associates program, the Alexander Hamilton Medal, Columbia College Today, and the Columbia College Fund.

In 1967, Coffee left Columbia to become a founding administrator of the now-defunct Eisenhower College.

In 1998, Coffee received the John Jay Award.


Coffee died at the age of 92. At the time, he was living in Lakewood, NJ. A memorial service for Coffee was held at St. Paul's Chapel.