Dr. Ellen Galligan Appointed to SUNY Sullivan Board of Trustees

Loch Sheldrake, NY —SUNY Sullivan announces that Dr. Ellen Galligan has been appointed, effective immediately, to the College’s Board of Trustees. A Forestburgh resident, Galligan is vice president emeritus at Sullivan County Community College, where she worked from 1989–2010 in a variety of positions, including vice president for academic affairs and student services and dean of workforce development. She will be sworn in at the College’s Board of Trustees meeting on February 16. Galligan was appointed to the board by Governor Kathy Hochul, and her term expires in 2027. She succeeds longtime Trustee Phyllis “Penny” Coombe.

Dr. Ellen Galligan

“I am honored to be appointed to the SUNY Sullivan Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Galligan. “I began my studies at a community college and believe in its mission to provide opportunity for students to achieve their educational goals. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the students, faculty, and staff at SUNY Sullivan, and I look forward to serving the College in this role.”

“I welcome Dr. Galligan back to an active role in the SUNY Sullivan community!” said SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance. “We are fortunate that Governor Hochul has chosen a new trustee who brings a great deal of history and experience to the table. Ellen was a great asset here in the past and I look forward to working with her as she brings her experience to bear in a new role!”

Dean of Liberal Arts, Sciences and Health Sciences Rose Hanofee said she worked with Dr. Galligan for several years and was excited to learn of her appointment.

“Her years of experience at SUNY Sullivan in workforce development and in administration will be an asset to the College,” said Hanofee. “I remember her as a down-to-earth leader who offered me good advice and in a way where she genuinely wanted me to learn. I’m looking forward to working with her again.”

Appointed to the Board of Trustees on September 9, 1997 by Governor George Pataki, Coombe’s 25 years on the board included working to raise matching funds to build a new dorm, develop a new strategic plan for the College, and establish new academic programs. She served on numerous committees and chaired the presidential search and the Middle States accreditation committees. Her awards include a Marvin A. Rapp Award for Distinguished Trustee Service from New York Community College Trustees, in 2005, and a “2012 Women Who Make a Difference” award for Higher Education.

“I believe that my professional career in secondary education enhanced my Board service,” said Coombe. “I also believe in the power of education to change lives and in the importance of our community college to provide relevant opportunities for all ages. My 25 years of service has been an honor and a privilege and mostly a pleasure! There have been significant challenges, but SUNY Sullivan is positioned for further success.”

“I want to thank Trustee Coombe for going above and beyond in her service to the College,” Quaintance said.  “Her 25-year tenure on the board has been marked by many changes, and the board has long relied on her wisdom and experience. To say Penny will be missed is an understatement. She has made a lasting impact on the college and the county and will be missed. I just hope she will still take my calls when I need guidance!”

About Dr. Ellen Galligan:

Dr. Ellen Galligan is the former owner and operator of Galligan’s Forestburgh Store and is vice president emeritus and former vice president for academic affairs and student services at Sullivan County Community College, where she worked from 1989–2010. During her tenure at the College Galligan also worked as technical assistant, Developmental Studies; director, the Learning Center: tutoring, services to students with disabilities, developmental education, and Freshman Seminar; assistant dean of student services; assistant to the vice president for academic affairs and student services; and dean of workforce development, continuing education, and lifelong learning. A Forestburgh resident, Galligan is the board president of Friends of Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, board member of Paradise Island Towers Condominium Association, a tutor for Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County, former Forestburgh chairperson of the Sullivan County Democratic Committee, and former board member of the Delaware Valley Arts Association.

About SUNY Sullivan

SUNY Sullivan is the leader of innovative higher education and a catalyst for workforce development throughout the Sullivan Catskills and beyond. Our diverse community cultivates personal growth and professional advancement, preparing students for success in a sustainable and interconnected world. A forward-looking, top-tier community college in New York, SUNY Sullivan offers over 40 degree programs, certificates, and micro-credentials for learners at all levels of their educational goals. We value critical inquiry and creativity while supporting our students in a culture of inclusion and respect. sunysullivan.edu.


February 2, 2023

Scroll to Top