2019 Distinguished Alumni Award

This award recognizes an alumna/us who has made a distinctive and unique contribution to his or her profession and to society.

Deb Coffin '76

Deb Coffin earned a B.S. degree in business administration from Colby-Sawyer College in 1976. She later studied criminal justice at St. Anselm College and then received a M.S. degree in human services from New Hampshire College in 1985. Deb also earned certificates from the Lake Sunapee Mediation Program and the New England Institute of Addiction Studies.

From 1985 until she retired in 2010, Deb was a therapist in private practice, counseling individuals, adolescents and families in the New London area on addiction and relationships. Deb also taught at both Colby-Sawyer College and Granite State College and worked as the education coordinator for the Enfield Shaker Museum. She formerly owned Aesthetics of New London, a hair salon and day spa, and is former founder and owner of Moose Country Gourmet, LLC, which made and sold mustard, chocolate sauces, barbeque sauce, syrups, and chutney.

Deb has also been actively involved in a number of area civic and non-profit organizations. She currently serves as chair of the board of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH and the Story Preservation Initiative. She is a former board member of the League of NH Craftsmen, Habitat for Humanity of the Kearsarge/Sunapee NH Area, the Society for Advancement of Sexual Health, and the Lake Sunapee Area Mediation Program. Deb is a previous public member of the Marital Mediator Certification Board of the state of New Hampshire's Executive Council. Her other volunteer activities include working with the New London District Court Juvenile Diversion Program; serving as a Springfield, New Hampshire selectwoman for six years; and as a former member of the Springfield Budget Committee. Deb also was a probation volunteer for Sullivan and Merrimack Counties.

At Colby-Sawyer Deb has been a loyal volunteer and supporter of her college for years. Deb was a member of the Alumni Association Board from 1990 to 1993 and served on Colby-Sawyer President's Alumni Advisory Council from 2010 to 2014. Deb joined the college’s Board of Trustees in 2014. In her five years on the Board she has served on numerous committees, currently as chair of the Academic Affairs committee, as well as serving on the Finance & Investment committee and the Board’s strategic direction working group.

Deb’s support of Colby-Sawyer goes well beyond the generosity of her time and talent. She has truly made Colby-Sawyer a philanthropic priority. Deb is a loyal donor to the Colby-Sawyer Fund and is also a member of the college’s Heritage Society. She has been a key contributor to many of the college’s highest strategic priorities over the years. She was a lead donor to the Center for Art + Design, naming the Deborah L. Coffin ’76 Family Ceramics Studio in memory of her late brother David L. Coffin Jr. ’75. Deb is often quiet in her support of the college and has funded important and necessary projects that are not seen every day by the campus community. In 2014, the Coffin Family was deservedly inducted into the college’s Legends Society, honoring those who have given $1M or more to the college. The Coffins generosity to the college began with Deb’s late father, David L. Coffin, Sr. who served on the Board of Trustees from 1962 to 1978. Today Deb follows in her father’s footsteps as a philanthropic and civic leader.

Deb was stunned to learn that she received the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. She says, “I am very humbled by receiving this award. Colby-Sawyer was very important to me and to have this recognition is beyond exciting.”