Sister Mary Ellen Brosnan, S.C., former academic dean and president of Elizabeth Seton Junior College in Yonkers, died Nov. 7 at Mary the Queen Convent in Yonkers. She was 84.
During her long tenure at Seton, first as academic dean, 1961-1975, and then as president, 1975-1989, she made many innovations, including career programs in radio and television and medical laboratory training as well as continuing education courses. The LINK (Leap Into New Knowledge) program she established gave students the opportunity to earn college credits. She also started a policy of granting credit based on life learning.
She was assistant to the president at Iona College in New Rochelle, 1989-1994. From 1995 until 1999 she was director of a literacy program at the Sisters of Charity Center in the Bronx. She began her career in education as a teacher at Elizabeth Seton School, Yonkers, 1952-1960.
In 1995 Cardinal O’Connor presented her with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal, a papal honor given for service to the Church and the pope.
Born in Brooklyn, she entered the Sisters of Charity of New York in 1949, taking the name Sister Mary Rose. She professed final vows in 1957. She held a bachelor’s degree from the College of Mount St. Vincent and a master’s degree and doctorate in English from Fordham University.
Her brothers, Vincent and John, survive her.
A Funeral Mass was offered Nov. 10 at Mary the Queen Convent. Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla.