Walter Castella Coffey | 1936
Former flockmaster, University of Minnesota President, Director of the International Live Stock Exposition and President of the American Society of Animal Production.
1876-1956 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)
Impact & Accomplishments
Raised on a Shropshire-Southdown farm in Indiana, Walter Castella Coffey’s first career was as a school teacher.
In 1903, he accepted the position of flockmaster at the University of Illinois and quickly progressed from student, to graduate student, to faculty member there.
Offered the position of Dean of the Department of Agriculture and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, Coffey moved to the University of Minnesota in 1921. Dean Coffey was elevated to the university presidency in 1941, serving through 1945. In 1952-1953, he was acting president of Hamline University, an institution that had granted him an honorary doctorate in 1927.
Walter Coffey was a member of U. S. President Calvin Coolidge’s Agriculture Conference, the executive committee of the Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities, and the board of the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Paul, among others.
He was a director of the International Live Stock Exposition and president of the American Society of Animal Production, the organization that selected him to be a Saddle & Sirloin honoree.
Walter Coffey died just hours before his eightieth birthday. One of his last major projects was to raise the funds to build a new student union at the University of Minnesota.
Did You Know?
Coffey Hall on the University of Minnesota campus was named after Dean Coffey.