Tom Coakley is completing his career at St. Lawrence University serving as an economics lecturer after completing a 17 year term as Vice President for Administrative Operations with related administrative and teaching assignments in the 10 previous years.
As Vice president Tom was responsible for Facilities Construction and Operations, Dining and Conference Services, Human Resources, The Brewer Bookstore, Environmental Health and Safety, The University Inn and Golf Course and the University’s Canton Initiative. He served as board liaison for the Architecture and Physical Plant Committee and the Canton Initiative Board of Advisors. Tom came to St. Lawrence in 1982 as a visiting lecturer in economics, for what he believed to be a year "to figure out where he was headed next." Prior to leaving the economics department, for Vilas Hall, Tom served on University Faculty Council.
Tom was born and raised in Canton. He earned his bachelor's degree at Brown University, served in the US Army in Vietnam, and, after being critically wounded, resulting in the below knee loss of his left leg, returned to earn his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Tom is married to Nellie Coakley, a former Army nurse, who also served in Vietnam. They have four married children, Kristen, Brian, Sean and Erin, and five grandchildren. Tom serves on several civic boards, recently serving as President of the County Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of the Canton Potsdam Hospital, and as a public board member for the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics and Pedorthics. He also works with the Amputee Coalition of America where he and Nellie most recently became certified as ACA peer visitors.
Tom and Nellie, speak at a number of colleges and schools on their experience and Nellie presents her work in war trauma to a great variety of groups. The couple has appeared on various television programs including “China Beach.” Recently they have been featured in Tom Brokaw’s newest book, “Boom!” and the accompanying television documentary, “1968 with Tom Brokaw.” As he moves into a professional stage of teaching and consulting, Tom’s particular interests are found in small business and non-profit finance and strategic planning, and regional economic development.