Time & Eternity: Tom Coyle '74


Tom Coyle ‘74 views himself as being truly blessed. He was blessed to have wonderful parents and six siblings, blessed to have had the opportunity to attend Marist High School, and blessed to be introduced to his wife by a classmate his senior year.

“My parents provided us with core principles that are rock solid,” Tom said.  “Marist refined and solidified this foundation, which is grounded in faith.” 

While at Marist, Tom was a member of the student council all four years – serving as its president his senior year.  He also played basketball his freshman year and tried football his sophomore year.  Tom’s Marist experience as well as his strong support network of family, friends and teachers enabled him to pursue life with confidence.  

Tom’s poise coming out of Marist was a huge asset as he started his 42-year career in agriculture by working full time at Continental Grain Company in the Chicago Board of Trade building while attending night school at DePaul University.  After earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting, he became a merchandiser in training.  In this position, he relocated many times across the country to gain exposure to different commodities, markets, and geographic areas while developing his trading and management skills.  Tom went on to earn his Master of Business Administration from the University of Dayton while managing a grain facility in Troy, Ohio. After relocating seven times in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands, Tom moved into an executive management position.  Today, Tom serves as Managing Director North America for Cofco International – the largest agribusiness in China. 

For the past 45 years, Tom has remained close to his alma mater.  He is supportive of Marist’s progressive approach to education, which prepares students to excel and to carry on its founding principles. He is honored to receive the Time and Eternity Award, but also a bit uncomfortable for such recognition because as he expressed it, “I have received way more from Marist than I could ever give back.”

Tom and his wife Kathy have three children – Patrick, Eileen and Brian – and four grandchildren.  They are active members of St. Raphael Catholic Church in Naperville having participated in Religious Education, Youth Ministry, Service Commission and Pastoral Council. Currently, Tom is a member of the Transitional Housing Committee, which provides mentoring to families sponsored by the Community of St. Raphael.