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T H E  C O L L E G E  O F  N E W  R O C H E L L E

Presidents

Rev. Michael Carthage O’Farrell

 1904-1918  

Michael Carthage O’Farrell was born in County Waterford, Ireland on Dec. 12, 1844 and was first educated by the Irish Christian Brothers.  From St. Patrick’s Seminary, Carlow, he transferred to the US Archdiocese of New York in 1866 and was ordained in 1868. At one of his first parishes in Roundout, NY, he established a secondary school.  It was at his next assignment, to the Lower East-side parish of St. Teresa in 1876 that he met the Ursulines who had arrived there three years previously.  A successful administrator in the parishes he served, O’Farrell encouraged the Ursulines in their educational innovations and in 1897 assisted Mother Irene Gill in locating and purchasing Leland Castle in New Rochelle. He was appointed the first President of the College of St. Angela when it opened in September, 1904 and continued as a supporter and friend until his death.  O’Farrell was described as an optimistic and approachable person—fond of children, college students, his parishioners and his numerous pets. O’Farrell died on January 3, 1918.


Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Mooney, D.D.

 1918-1923 

Mooney Joseph F. Mooney was born in Pike County, Pennsylvania oh July 8, 1848 and, as a child, moved to Rondout, NY. After graduation from St. John’s College (Fordham) in 1867 he entered St. Joseph’s Seminary and was ordained a priest in 1871. In 1890, he was named pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Manhattan and became a close advisor to Archbishop Corrigan and his successors. He was described as a forceful, prudent, and far-sighted person with a stern face but a kind and sincere heart. Upon the death of Fr. O’Farrell, the College of New Rochelle Trustees invited Mooney to fill the vacant position as College President and he agreed to serve. Unfortunately illness prevented him from taking an active part in the life of the College.  Mooney died on May 13, 1923.


Rt. Rev. John P. Chidwick, D.D.

 1924-1935 

Chidwick John P. Chidwick was born in New York City October 23, 1863 and was graduated from Manhattan College with a B.A. (1883) and M.A. (1885) before entering St. Joseph’s Seminary. Ordained in 1887, Chidwick spent several years in parish ministry before entering the US Navy as a chaplain. Assigned as chaplain to the battleship, Maine, it was Chidwick who was present when it was blown up in Havana Harbor during the Spanish American War in 1898. His heroism and devotion to the dying and wounded in that tragedy made a place for him in history. Chidwick had a long interest in higher education. He had been rector of the New York Archdiocesan Seminary at Dunwoodie and was a trustee of the Catholic Summer School of America.  Inaugurated as CNR’s third President of February 12, 1924, Chidwick served as President until his death on January 13, 1935. His obituary describes him as just, fair, highly intelligent, self-effacing, and a gifted orator.  The first college building, previously called “The Gymnasium” was re-named “Chidwick” shortly after Msgr. Chidwick’s death.  He left his large book collection to the College Library.


Rt. Rev. Cornelius F. Crowley, S.T.L.

 1935-1937

Crowley Cornelius F. Crowley was born in New York City August 13, 1870. After graduating from Manhattan College in 1889, he entered St. Joseph’s Seminary and was ordained in 1894.  From there he went to Catholic University for study for a licentiate in Sacred Theology. In 1913 he was assigned as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in New Rochelle where he rebuilt and modernized the parish school which was staffed by the Ursulines. A college classmate, counselor, and friend of Cardinal Hayes, Crowley was appointed President of CNR by his friend in April, 1935. Despite a shy demeanor, Crowley was deeply loved and respected by his parishioners and, when appointed President of CNR, expressed great interest in the development of leadership in college women. In a 1937 interview with a student, he advocated students’ entering politics and social work as means of addressing the many social ills which the Depression was causing.  After serving as President for just two years, Msgr. Crowley died on July 1, 1937.


Rt. Rev. Msgr. Francis W. Walsh, V.F

1938-1949

Walsh Born in Newport, R.I. on June 8, 1889, Francis F.  Walsh attended Holy Cross College before beginning his studies for the priesthood.  He was ordained at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1915, and his first assignment was as assistant to Fr. Michael O’Farrell (1st CNR President) at Holy Innocents parish in Manhattan.  In 1917 he volunteered as a chaplain  at the outbreak of World War I. Gassed  in France during the war, Walsh re-located to Colorado staying there until 1932 and becoming active in mission work and radio ministries to outlying areas.  When Walsh returned to the Archdiocese of New York, he re-located to Peekskill. Patrick Cardinal Hayes appointed Walsh 5th CNR President in 1938. Walsh was frequently on campus and had several nieces who were graduates. Shortly after becoming President, Walsh was named pastor of St. Gabriel’s parish in Riverdale, NY. In his Archives file is a letter written to President Harry Truman the day after the bombing of Hiroshima deploring the action. He was delighted when an Ursuline could replace him as CNR President and continued to offer support and advice to his Ursuline successors for many years. Msgr.Walsh died on June 28, 1973.


Mother M. Dorothea Dunkerley, O.S.U.

  1949-1957  

Dunkerly Mother Dorothea Dunkerley (Kathryn Dunkerley, CNR Class of 1919) was born in Ennis, Texas on November 19, 1897 and was educated at the Ursuline Academy in Dallas before enrolling at CNR in 1915. After graduation, she taught for three years in Texas before entering the Ursulines in New Rochelle. After teaching at her alma mater for several years, Mother Dorothea received a M.A. in Psychology from Fordham University in 1934 and a doctorate in Psychology from the Catholic University of America in 1940.

From 1940-49 she served as Assistant Dean; she was named Academic Dean in 1949 and, soon after, appointed Acting President to replace Msgr. Walsh. She was named CNR’s first Ursuline (and woman) President in 1950. Mother Dorothea served as President until 1957. During her Presidency, the college celebrated its semi-centenary, constructed Angela Merici Hall and began construction of Xavier Administration and Fine Arts Building (Mooney Building). Upon completion of her presidency, Mother Dorothea returned to the CNR Psychology Department faculty until 1967, and then served as Director of Institutional Research until 1972. In her “retirement,” she served on the CNR Board of Trustees and found more time to visit with friends and oversee the College’s grounds.  She was a wise and kind guide to students and alumnae; “she was my rock, my island of serenity,” wrote an alumna after her death on December 30, 1982.


Mother Mary Peter Carthy, O.S.U.

1957-1961 

CarthyMargaret Carthy was born in New York City on October 15, 1911 and was graduated from CNR in 1933. Before entering the Ursuline Order, she worked as assistant to the Business Manager at Teachers College of Columbia University for four years; as a young Ursuline, she was Assistant Registrar before receiving a M.A. in American Church History from the Catholic University of America in 1947. After teaching in the History Department for several years, Mother Mary Peter was named Academic Dean of the College in 1950 and served until 1957 when she was appointed President; she received her doctorate from CUA in 1957. Mother Mary Peter served as CNR President from 1957 until 1961. A skillful administrator, she guided CNR along the path of academic excellence She was also an authority on American Church history and authored several works on the subject After teaching and administrative appointments an The Catholic University of America and the University of Maryland, Sister Margaret, (having returned to her baptismal name) returned to the College as Dean of the Graduate School between 1975 and 1979.  Sister Margaret was a brilliant and gracious lady, loved and respected by students, faculty and staff. She died June 2, 1992.


Mother St. John O’Brien, O.S.U.

1961-1963 

O'Brien Jessie Elizabeth O’Brien was born in New Rochelle on March 5, 1913. Educated by the Ursulines since primary school, Jessie was a popular member of the CNR class of 1934 and taught for several years before entrance into the Ursuline novitiate. After several years of teaching at The Ursuline School, she received a M.A from Fordham in 1944. Mother St. John was assigned to the CNR faculty and taught mathematics and served as Director of Students. In 1952, she was assigned administrative positions within the Ursuline Order, and she became President of CNR in 1961, serving in that capacity until 1963. Iona College conferred on her, a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa in 1963. She saw the completion of Ursula Residence Hall. Mother St. John left CNR in 1963 to serve as directress of the Ursuline House of Studies in Washington and then as a directress of the Ursuline Office of Education in Rome. Returning to the US, (and taking her middle name), Sister Elizabeth devoted many more years as a spiritual director at several locations.  Sister Elizabeth recently celebrated her 90th birthday and was feted by her many Ursuline Sisters and friends who acclaimed her for her kindness, wisdom, and generosity which so many of her family, Ursuline Sisters and CNR “family” have enjoyed over her long and gifted life.


Mother Mary Robert (Teresa) Falls, O.S.U.

1963-1970 

Falls Teresa Falls was born October 16, 1911 in New York City and was graduated from the College of New Rochelle in 1938 after her entrance into the Ursulines. She received a M.A. in 1944 and a PhD in 1950 in English, both degrees from The Catholic University. Mother Mary Robert taught English literature at CNR and was directress of the Ursuline Houses of Studies in New Rochelle and in Washington before being appointed CNR President in 1963. Her Presidency was marked by enormous upheaval and change—in societal, political, educational, religious, and moral—belief and practice. Under her tenure, Sister Teresa oversaw the building of Rogick Life Sciences Building, the establishment of the Graduate School, great changes in curriculum, college governance, and salary increases for faculty.  By the late 1960’s the college faced a dwindling endowment, and  federal/state funding for private/Catholic colleges was hotly debated in Washington the New York State legislatures.  With characteristic firmness and integrity, Sister Teresa led the College in a time of much questioning.  When she completed her term as President in 1970, Sister Teresa went to Botswana and joined the staff of the Teacher Training College there. Illness brought her home where she served as Provincial Secretary.  She is remembered as a precise scholar, idealistic, respectful of the thoughts and feelings of others—and the best typist on campus. Sister Teresa died on June 9, 1979.


President Joseph P. McMurray

 1970-1972  

McMurray Joseph McMurray was born March 4, 1912 in New York City. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brooklyn College, he pursued higher education in economics at the New School. Previous to his entry into college administration, McMurray was a director and economic consultant on several New York City, State, and national committees and Departments as well as an economic consultant abroad. In 1965 he became President of Queens College having previously served as president of Queens borough Community College. McMurray was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, and served as a member of the College of New Rochelle board of Trustees during the 1960’s.   Upon assuming the Presidency in 1970, he faced a critical financial situation and succeeded in lowering the College’s deficit somewhat. McMurray encouraged the establishment of the School of New Resources which was in the planning stages during his tenure. He was the first lay President of CNR. Joseph McMurray died on May 31, 2001. He was recalled as having left a significant mark as educator, businessman, citizen, and friend.


Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, O.S.U.

 1972-1997  

Kelly Dorothy Ann Kelly was born in the Bronx, NY on July 26, 1929. Like her Ursuline President predecessors, (Sisters Margaret, Elizabeth, and Teresa), Dorothy Ann was a commuter student who found time to immerse herself in study as well as campus life before graduating in 1951. After her entrance into the Ursulines, Sister Dorothy Ann received a M.A. in American Church History from Catholic University in 1958 and a PhD in Intellectual History from the University of Notre Dame in 1970. Sister Dorothy Ann taught in the SAS History Department until being appointed Academic Dean in 1967; she served as Acting President until President Joseph McMurray assumed the task in 1971.  Sister Dorothy Ann oversaw the establishment of the School of New Resources in 1972 (and the School of Nursing in 1976); she exercised unusual leadership in New York State and national and Catholic higher educational organizations of private and independent colleges as well as Catholic women’s colleges.  Active in multiple local and national groups such as the Inter-Religious Council of New Rochelle, Association of American Colleges, Community of the Peace People (N. Ireland), she was also active on campus implementing a new governance system, fostering the establishment of a College-wide Senate, fund raising, meeting with alumnae/ni, and maintaining dialog with faculty, students, and staff. During her tenure and under her creative vision, the College of New Rochelle grown from a small Catholic women’s college of 800 to a multi-campus college with three new (co-educational) campuses at six other locations in the New York metropolitan area with an enrollment of over 6,000.  As an active and committed member of her religious congregation, Sister Dorothy Ann represented the Eastern Province of the Ursulines at two General Chapters in Rome. She has received numerous honorary degrees and honors and was part of the US Delegation to the 5th International Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Sister Dorothy Ann was known as a wise and experienced leader, skilled in dialog, able to delegate, prioritize, and listen.  After serving as Chancellor of CNR after her retirement from the presidency, Sister Dorothy Ann was appointed Prioress of the Ursuline Community on campus. In May, 2003, she was elected Provincial Prioress of the Eastern Province.


Stephen J. Sweeny, Ph.D.

1997-2011 

SweenyDr. Stephen J. Sweeny was inaugurated as the 12th President of The College of New Rochelle in 1997.  His years as President have capped an association with the College that began 35 years ago. Throughout that time, he has demonstrated the strength of his commitment to the College’s Ursuline heritage and to its mission and identity as a Catholic, women’s, liberal arts institution with undergraduate and graduate programs of excellence offered in a community drawn from diversity. 

For more than three decades, particularly in his roles as Chief Academic Officer for 18 years and President for 14 years, Dr. Sweeny had a significant influence on the strategic direction of the College, which is comprised of the School of Arts & Sciences (for women), the School of New Resources (for adult learners), the School of Nursing, and the Graduate School.  Dedicated to the education of women and men in the liberal arts and professional studies, the College is recognized for its commitment to diversity with more than 5,000 students enrolled at its six campuses in Westchester, Brooklyn, Co-op City, the South Bronx, Harlem, and at DC-37 Union headquarters in lower Manhattan.

Under Dr. Sweeny’s direction, the College completed its most successful campaign in the College’s history, raising more than $78 million for special projects, including the construction of a new Wellness Center, the renovation of Gill Library and Holy Family Chapel, an updated Learning Center for Nursing, and millions of dollars for direct assistance to students in the form of scholarships and financial aid. He also oversaw the completion of the renovation of the John Cardinal O’Connor Campus in the South Bronx. In May of 2011, The College of New Rochelle Student Campus Center was renovated and rededicated as the Sweeny Student Center in honor of his many contributions to CNR, and at Commencement 2011 Dr. Sweeny received an honorary degree from The College of New Rochelle.

Dr. Sweeny served on numerous boards, including The Association for Catholic Colleges and Universities and the International Federation of Catholic Universities, and is a member of the Middle States’ Commission on Higher Education. He received the Ph.D. in higher education, an M.A. in theology, and M.A. in counseling psychology, a B.A. in Spanish, and at Commencement 2011 an honorary degree from The College of New Rochelle. Dr. Sweeny is a Knight of the Order of Malta and a Knight Grand Cross in the order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.


Judith Huntington

July 1, 2011 - Present

The College of New Rochelle Board of Trustees elected Judith Huntington as the 13th president of the College, effective July 1, 2011.

Judith Huntington joined the College in 2001 as Vice President for Financial Affairs, assuming full responsibility for all fiscal issues involving the College. Having served as an outside auditor to the College for eight years before her appointment, she was already well acquainted with the College’s financial affairs.

During her tenure, Huntington has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments which include overseeing the construction of the College’s $28 million Wellness Center, maintaining a BBB rating from Moody’s Investor Services, and improving the College’s financial outlook through conservative spending and investment.

Huntington’s experience includes more than 20 years in the financial arena, working with not-for-profits and specializing in higher education. Prior to joining CNR, she served as audit senior manager in KPMG’s metro New York higher education, research, and other not-for-profit practice, providing audit and accounting services. She also served as the engagement senior manager for several of KPMG's most complex clients, including Manhattan College, Pace University, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Save the Children Federation, and The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.

Among one of the youngest in her firm to be selected to serve on the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in Norwalk, CT, she spent two years working to develop policy that is the standard in the industry including FASB Statement No. 116, "Accounting for Contributions Received and Contributions Made," and FASB Statement No. 117, "Financial Statements for Not-for-Profit Organizations."

She is a former member of the Yorktown Central School District Board of Education, serves on the Lower Hudson Valley Catholic Consortium, and is a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s evaluation team. In 2008 Huntington received an Apex Advocacy Award from the Westchester County Association for her participation on the Association’s Property Tax Alliance. Huntington holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Pace University.

Huntington and her family are residents of Yorktown Heights, NY. Her husband of 23 years, Brad Huntington, is the President of Tri-State Engineering. They have two children, Amanda, a freshman at Sacred Heart University majoring in Theology and Psychology, and Bradley Jr., a sophomore at Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, NY. They are parishioners of St. Patrick’s Church in Yorktown Heights and St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Church in Brookfield, CT.

Huntington said that she was honored to be chosen to carry on in the tradition of Presidents such as Dr. Sweeny and Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, who had also come from within the College Community.

 

Prepared by Martha Counihan, O.S.U., Archivist
Photos courtesy of CNR Archives



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