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Published: October 26, 2017 | Categories: Alumni

In Memoriam: Dr. John M. Coulter


It is with heavy hearts that we report that Dr. John Coulter, associate dean of the College of Business and professor of Accounting, passed away on October 21.

Dr. Coulter, of Lee, MA, was an associate professor in the College of Business from September 1, 1997 until June 30, 2006. He was then director of the MSA Program and professor of Accounting from July 1, 2006 to July 5, 2008, and became the chair of Accounting & Finance and professor of Accounting from July 6, 2008 until June 30, 2017. On July 1, 2017, Dr. Coulter was named associate dean in the College of Business and professor of Accounting.

Western New England University is planning to hold a memorial service on campus at a date to be determined. A celebration of his life was held at the Greenock Country Club in Lee, MA, on October 28. In lieu of flowers, his family asked that donations be made to Western New England University for the John M. Coulter Excellence in Accounting Award, or to the Berkshire Humane Society.

A life-long advocate of learning and teaching, Dr. Coulter is remembered as loving, humorous and kind—a son, brother, husband, father, and friend, and a mentor to hundreds of students over his three-plus decades of teaching.

Born in Pittsfield, MA, he graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1981. He attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in Accounting, all with highest honors. For the past 20 years, Dr. Coulter pursued his passion of teaching and mentoring students from all walks of life at Western New England University. In 2005 he became a CPA, earning the designation’s highest exam score in Massachusetts that year. He traveled all over the country presenting on higher education topics, connecting with his peers and tirelessly working to improve business education for students everywhere.

His boundlessly inquisitive nature left no question unanswered and no problem unsolved. His love of learning extended far beyond the classroom and his varied interests included music of all genres, the Red Sox, animals (especially his “grandcat” Boodles and his beloved cat Tasha), chess, cooking, golf, travel, reading, and Eastern philosophy. Dr. Coulter proudly volunteered as president of the condominium association in South Wellfleet, MA, where he and his wife and daughter enjoyed countless vacations at their second home.

Dr. Coulter is survived by his wife, Lisa, of Lee, his daughter, alumna Heather Kemp ’10 and son-in-law Jonathan Kemp ’08 of Holliston, MA, his parents Jim and Ellen Coulter of Pittsfield, his brother Bob Coulter of Kirkwood, MO, his uncle and aunt Thomas and Patricia Coulter of Pittsfield, his uncle and aunt Maurice and Jean Lafleur of Punta Gorda, FL, his father-in-law Jack Wright of Pittsfield, and many cousins.