Harry Scherr III, chairman of the College Council, died on Dec. 21 after a long illness. He was 63.
Scherr, a Newburgh resident, joined the Council as chairman in 1996 and led the group under the last two college presidents, Roger Bowen and Steven Poskanzer.
The college is working with SUNY System Administration on interim leadership of the Council.
Scherr was a devoted advocate for the campus. He helped raise the college's profile throughout the region, especially in Newburgh and Orange County where he was a businessman and longtime school board leader. He cared about the quality of education offered by the college and was proud of his association with New Paltz.
"Harry served wisely and well as Council Chair - indeed, he served with enormous integrity, courage, honor and distinction. Any success that the college has had in recent years is thus in no small measure Harry's success, " said Poskanzer.
Scherr is survived by his wife, Barbara, as well as three daughters and their families.
Services were held on Dec. 23 in Newburgh. The College Council is a group of civic leaders (including one student) appointed by the Governor who provide support and guidance to the college's administration.