Centenary elects Princeton exec as new chair of its board

Centenary University has named a longtime higher education fundraiser as the new chair of its board of trustees, it announced this week.

Rochelle A. Makela-Goodman was elected to the post, effective Jan. 1, after 11 years on the board. She replaces retiring Chair Wolfgang Gstattenbauer, who will take on an emeritus role.

Makela-Goodman, director of gift planning at Princeton University, had served as second vice chair of the Hackettstown college’s board, and in 2019 chaired the search for a university president that resulted in the hiring of President Bruce Murphy.

“I am honored to lead the Centenary University board of trustees at a pivotal time for education in our country,” she said in a prepared statement. “Centenary has served the learning needs of a diverse community since its founding in 1867, and continues to transform lives today.

“I look forward to advancing this critical asset for the region, the state and beyond. Centenary’s educational offerings and expansion into the health sciences are critical to the economic and workforce vitality of our region.”

Makela-Goodman was a elected to a renewable four-year term as chair. A 1997 Centenary graduate, she held fundraising roles at the university and at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania before joining Princeton in 2014.

“I’m delighted to turn over leadership of the board to Rochelle Makela-Goodman,” Gstattenbauer said in a statement. “We have worked together for many years to advance the mission of Centenary University in serving a diverse group of students. Her extensive professional experience and deep commitment to the university and the Skylands region will provide the strong leadership necessary at a time of growth for Centenary University.”