Agnes O'Connell, the founder and first President of the MSU Emeriti Association, passed away Monday, June 6, 2011, after a long struggle with cancer. Agnes was a professor of psychology at the University for over 25 years. She was an expert and pioneer in the area of women in psychology. Many honors came to her during her career at Montclair especially the Distinguished Scholar award, and she received Emerita status upon her retirement. Agnes was the author of numerous scholarly publications including an award winning series of books: Models of Achievement: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology. In her retirement years she continued her scholarly output in particular by chairing for many years a panel presentation featuring eminent women psychologists at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.
Agnes' visit to the UCLa Emeriti Center on a visit to Los Angeles affected her deeply. She observed that UCLA actually had a separate building and administrative staff devoted to honoring and supporting its emeriti. On her return she decided to work to establish a similar organization at Montclair State. She enlisted a small group of like-minded emeriti and after many organizational meetings a proposal for an MSU Emeriti Association was drawn up and submitted to the Provost Dick Lynde. The Provost approved the proposal and the MSU Emeriti Association held its Inaugural Celebration and Meeting on November 19, 2008.
Since that time Agnes continued to lead and inspire the MSU Emeriti Association. With no exaggeration it can be said that she was the soul of the Association. She will sorely be missed.