Kofi Appenteng ‘81


Kofi was born and raised in the West African nation of Ghana and attended school in England before coming to the US in the fall of 1977 to attend Wesleyan. Since that beginning, he has emerged as an outstanding student, a difference-making athlete, a respected campus leader and an effective citizen in the Wesleyan community and beyond.

In athletics Kofi started every game over four years for the men’s soccer team, earning all-New England and All-America honors. In his senior season, he helped the Cardinals capture an ECAC New England Division III title in 1980 with a 12-2 record. He also stood out on the track, specializing in the 440-yard dash and was part of Wesleyan’s New England Division III champion mile relay in 1981. It was said of his soccer style that he could outrun most of his opponents, and could run over the others.

Following Wesleyan Kofi attended Columbia Law School and earned his law degree in 1984. He is a partner in the New York City law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Word and is a member of its Corporate and Financial Institutions Practice Group. He is the chairman of the board of the Africa-America Institute, which promotes enlightened engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue. Consistent with that interest, Kofi is the co-founder of the West Africa Fund, a private equity fund focused on investing in the West African region. He also serves on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees and has numerous civic commitments including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Community Service Society of New York and the University of Cape Town Fund.

Kofi served on Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees for the better part of 15 years between 1990 and 2006 and is now a Trustee Emeritus. He chaired the search committee that recommended Michael S. Roth as Wesleyan’s 16th president in 2007. For that and many other contributions, he was awarded the Baldwin Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the Wesleyan Alumni Association for service to the university and to society.