April 11, 2022 — Maurice Coleman ’87 will deliver the keynote address to graduates at Northfield Mount Hermon School at the 139th commencement ceremony. A bank executive, he has spent much of his career on Wall Street leveraging financial tools to advance communities by investing equity, focused on multi-family affordable housing development and entrepreneurship to create economic opportunity, parity, and intergenerational wealth.
“NMH played a pivotal role in my development as a young person and, in many ways, it changed the trajectory of my life journey,” says Coleman.
Coleman grew up in a tough, low-income community in Trenton, New Jersey, where his mother was a kindergarten teacher and his father a custodian. He graduated from an under-resourced public high school and then attended NMH as a postgraduate at the urging of his English teacher, who also taught in NMH’s summer program.
“The year that I spent at NMH transformed my life,” he says.
During his time at NMH, Coleman says, he evolved as a scholar-athlete and quickly realized that he wanted to pursue more rigorous academic options after graduation. “NMH instilled in me the core values of the head, heart, and hand by granting me the opportunity to stretch academically, empower others socially, and compete with compassion athletically,” he says. He also followed the advice of his parents, who reminded him that “the best exercise for the heart is to reach down or back to pull someone up or forward,” he says.
At NMH, Coleman met peers from around the world, who brought together global perspectives, communal values, and a focus on excellence in the classroom, on the basketball court, and in service to the larger community. “NMH created an incredible opportunity to serve and to see the value of service," especially through the workjob commitment that each student fulfills, he says. “Regardless of your socio-economic station in life, we were all responsible for contributing to the well-being of the NMH community.”
Coleman’s career focus on Wall Street has mirrored NMH’s commitment, from its very beginning, to providing access to equitable opportunity, he says. “NMH was focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion before it became a thing.” Upholding those values enabled Coleman to receive the Headmaster’s Award at his NMH graduation and propelled him to continue his education at Columbia University, where he received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees with honors.
Coleman has had a highly successful career on Wall Street for more than two decades. He was recently named the tax credit syndication executive for commercial real estate banking at Bank of America.
Coleman also finds time for volunteer work with a range of social justice, community development, and educational institutions, including NMH, where he served on the Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2020. Indeed, NMH is so dear to his heart that he and his wife, Corina, held their 2005 wedding on the campus in Alumni Hall.
“The Class of 2022 was resolute in its determination to bring Maurice Coleman to campus as their Commencement speaker,” says Head of School Brian Hargrove. “In his career and public service, Maurice has sought to live our mission in serving and leading with humanity and purpose. He lives our values of inclusivity, learning for life, and service. For those of us who have had the opportunity to work with him, we know well the passion and purposeful nature Maurice brings to every action. Quite simply, he brings honor to NMH.”