SUNY New Paltz to hold memorial service for former president Stanley K. Coffman Jr.
NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz will hold a memorial service for the late Stanley K. Coffman Jr., president of SUNY New Paltz from 1972-1979, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the College Terrace. The service is open to the public.
Dr. Coffman, 88, of Kingston, died on Tuesday, May 24, 2005.
At the Nov. 19 service, President Steven Poskanzer will offer remarks, and past executive assistant to the president, Gail Gallerie, whose 34-year tenure included Coffman's seven-year term, will share some memories as well. In addition, Bill Connors, former dean of the Sojourner Truth Library, will read selections of poetry. Members of the Coffman family will also offer remembrances.
During his tenure, Dr. Coffman created the college's professional programs in business, nursing and computer science. He also chartered the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, making New Paltz one of the first SUNY campuses to pursue private support.
"He steered the campus through some of its most difficult budgetary challenges," said Poskanzer, "and his care and affection for this place ran deep indeed."
Coffman was a teaching member of the English Department at the University of Oklahoma where he also served as assistant dean of the University College. From 1964-72 he served in several capacities at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio: vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculties, 1968-71; acting dean of the graduate school, 1967-68; and chair of the English department. His other academic endeavors included visiting professor of English, University of Washington, Seattle, and he was also the author of "Imagism, A Chapter for the History of Modern Poetry" published by the University of Oklahoma Press.
His community service included the Mid Hudson Consortium for the Advancement of Medical Education, 1975-79; president of the board of trustees at Kingston Hospital, 1978-79; board of directors, Inter County Savings Bank; Modern Language Association; and elder and deacon in the Presbyterian Church. He had also served in the U.S. Army with active duty in Belgium and 20 years in the Army Reserve, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
He received his master's and Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University.
Coffman was born on Dec. 30, 1916 in Huntington, West Virginia. He was a son of the late Stanley K. Coffman Sr. and Werneth Brockmyer Coffman.
He was married to the late Ann Wrentmore of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, who died April 8, 1999. He is survived by a daughter, Ann Coffman of Saugerties; two sons, Stanley K. Coffman III of Kingston and Eric Coffman of Maynard, Mass.; two grandchildren, Ariel Coffman of Long Island and Jackson Coffman of Virginia Beach, Va.; a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Skeel of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; and several nieces and nephews.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.