1956-65 • A Sister Takes the Helm
St. Joseph’s entered its fifth decade with its first female president. S. Vincent Thérèse Tuohy in 1956 replaced Monsignor Dillon, who led SJC for 11 years.
Under S. Vincent Thérèse’s direction, the College’s reputation for academic excellence and commitment to social justice flourished. Several students received Fulbright grants, international speakers delivered presentations on campus, and faculty members were picked by the Catholic Church to exhibit at the World’s Fair in 1964.
S. Vincent Thérèse launched SJC’s first and second capital fundraising campaigns, resulting in the construction of a four-level library, McEntegart Hall, in 1965 and the Dillon Child Study Center in 1968.
Former New York City Criminal Court judge
She hadn’t received her official judge’s robe, so it was in her St. Joseph’s College graduation robe that the honorable Joan B. Carey first took the bench in Queens Criminal Court in 1978, launching a 30-year career presiding over a docket of robberies, assaults and homicides.
By her retirement in 2009, Ms. Carey had tried thousands of cases. She was an ardent advocate for the courts of New York state and a strong voice for reform of the laws governing domestic violence. It was a fitting legacy for a woman who started out as a social worker and public school teacher.
A 1961 graduate of St. Joseph’s College, Ms. Carey earned a Bachelor of Laws from New York Law School in 1966. She went to work as an assistant district attorney in Queens, rising to become the first woman to serve as a bureau chief of a New York City district attorney’s office.
Ms. Carey also worked as deputy chief of the Homicide Investigations Bureau, chief of the Supreme Court Trial Bureau and attorney-in-charge of the Rackets and Investigations Bureau.
Following her years as a prosecutor, Ms. Carey was appointed special attorney general in charge of Brooklyn and Staten Island, supervising the investigation and prosecution of cases involving corruption in the criminal justice system.
In 1993, Ms. Carey was named administrative judge of the Supreme Court Criminal Term in Manhattan, the largest criminal branch of the New York State Supreme Court. She held that position for nearly two years before being selected to take over the leadership of the New York City Criminal Court, thought by many to be the busiest criminal court in the world.
Ms. Carey received an honorary doctorate degree from St. Joseph’s in 2002.
– DAVID HENNE