Walter Coffey

President Walter C. Coffey (1876–1956) was president of the University of Minnesota from 1941–1945. He was introduced to students in the 1942 Gopher yearbook. President Coffey noted in the Gopher yearbook feature about him that the only drawback to his job was that he “met too many old people and too few students.” Coffey supported the creation of the International House in 1942, a misnamed residence that was to exclusively house African American men in order to keep dormitories segregated. Despite major campus upheaval, he refused to ever meet, or to allow his staff to meet, with students over the months of protest about his support for segregated housing. Although he agreed to integrate the house after meeting with representatives of the NAACP, he continued to work with his staff to ensure that African American men would not be allowed into Pioneer Hall.

CreatorGopher YearbookSourceUniversity of Minnesota Archives, Gopher Yearbook , Vol 55, 1942, p. 31.RightsImage is available courtesy the University of Minnesota Archives. For additional information about the use or re-use of this image please contact the University of Minnesota Archives at of MinnesotaTime Period1940s