175th Anniversary Closing Ceremony and Time Capsule Dedication
President Poskanzer's Letter to Future Students (letter will be placed in time capsule)
April 13, 2004
To future New Paltz students, faculty, staff and friends:
Congratulations on New Paltz's Bicentennial!
I write this letter on a glorious spring day in the 175th year of the college-at a time when New Paltz is rising rapidly in academic quality and earning a reputation as one of the finest public colleges in the Northeast. I trust that the college has continued to flourish for the last quarter century. (And I hope I'll still be around to read this letter in 2028 since I should be 70 years old when its unsealed!)
It seems wildly presumptuous to offer advice to the leadership of an institution that will face challenges we can hardly envision. Still, perhaps it would be helpful and meaningful to you if I described the character of the college in 2004, and some of the qualities we hope will be preserved for and will guide future generations of community members.
The New Paltz of our era is committed to academic excellence and rigor. We have labored hard and successfully to nurture a diverse and lively intellectual dynamic on campus. We're especially proud of our location on the scenic West Bank of the Hudson River, nestled in the shadows of the Shawangunk Mountains. We draw inspiration from that beauty, and hope a healthy balance can be maintained between preserving the majesty of this natural setting and promoting the economic vitality of the region. Finally, we enjoy a solid and symbiotic relationship with the town and village of New Paltz. The college is increasingly recognized as a major civic, business and cultural actor in the mid-Hudson area, and we think that bodes well for its future.
If, as Shakespeare wrote, "What's past is prologue," we are excited about the college's future, and we wish you every success.
Steven G. Poskanzer