Joan Wolfe Elected Board President; Herbert Gareiss Jr. to Remain for Another Year

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – After most recently serving as the group’s vice chair, Joan H. Wolfe has been elected Chairwoman of the SUNY Orange Board of Trustees for the college’s 2006-07 academic year, while Brutus W. Hodge was tabbed to replace Trustee Wolfe as vice chair and Sister Margaret Murphy was voted into the secretary slot.

In other action during the Board’s September meeting, Herbert Gareiss Jr., a county appointee to the Board since 1996, saw his term extended for another year while outgoing Chairwoman Roberta Glinton, whose term expired at the end of June, agreed to remain in her role until New York State Gov. George E. Pataki appoints her replacement.

Trustee Wolfe, a lifelong resident of Orange County, has carved a life devoted to education and local government. She began her education at Ladycliff College and earned her master of science degree from New Paltz College. Boasting more than 35 years as a teacher in elementary education, Trustee Wolfe retired this summer from her most recent post as a compensatory education math specialist at Middletown’s John W. Chorley Elementary School. Chorley is a former magnet school that emphasizes art, science and technology for kindergarten and first grade.

She is a past councilwoman for the Town of Wallkill, where she served as Deputy Supervisor, and a former member of the Town of Wallkill Planning Board. She was the Orange County Republican Committee’s first vice chairwoman and was a New York State Committeeman representing the 95th Assembly District.

Trustee Hodge, a second-generation business owner in Orange County, joined the Board in December 2000. He owns and directs the Brutus W. Hodge Funeral Home in Newburgh, and graduated from Tennessee State University, after which he went on to continue the business his father had established in 1932. Trustee Hodge is a charter member of the Baptist Temple Church in Newburgh, and is also on the city of Newburgh's Financial Advisory Board.

Trustee Murphy is an associate professor of religious studies at nearby Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. Her 35-year career as an educator and counselor has taken her to schools in New York City and Puerto Rico, in addition to Orange and Sullivan counties. She is a certified substance abuse counselor in New York state and has received numerous community service and human rights awards throughout the region.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from St. John’s University and her master’s in pastoral counseling from Iona College. Trustee Murphy also holds a master of social work degree from Yeshiva University and a doctorate of ministry from Drew University. She was appointed to the SUNY Orange Board of Directors in February 2006.


  • Joan Wolfe, Chairperson
  • Brutus Hodge, Vice Chairman
  • Sister Margaret Murphy, Secretary
  • Roberta Glinton
  • Dr. Arthur Anthonisen
  • Herbert Gareiss Jr.
  • Donald Mirro
  • Roberto Calderin
  • Jenna Boyce (Student Trustee)

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940