Proclamation for the Ulster County Legislature
SUNY New Paltz
April, 2003 - April 2004
Let it be known that today marks 175 years of higher learning in New Paltz. With the admirable goal of enhancing educational opportunities for community children, visionary residents established the Classical School in 1828, in the stone building, which still stands at 51 North Front Street. For $15, students would receive an advanced curriculum in English, but for $25, they would be schooled in Greek and Latin, in preparation for a university education. (Lang. 9) This New Paltz Classical School stands tall as our earliest institutional memory.
In The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer says, "Our knowledge of the world comes from gathering around great things in a complex and interactive community of truth." (Palmer. 115) He must certainly have been referring to our town, our village, our county, and our college.
We owe a great deal to a climate of mutual support. Without the foresight and cooperation of generations of community and college leaders, there might be no present day State University of New York at New Paltz. Our history is a very long and proud one, one that holds a bright and promising future, as evidenced by our burgeoning enrollment, our talented graduates, and most of all by our high standards. Today it stands in this "valley fair and beautiful," a testament to selectivity and diversity in public education.
Therefore let it be hereby proclaimed that
Whereas the Classical School of New Paltz was founded in April 1828; and whereas, the Classical School became the New Paltz Academy in 1833; and whereas, the Academy became the New Paltz Normal School in 1885; and whereas the Normal school became the State Teachers College at New Paltz in 1942; and whereas the teachers college became part of the State University of New York in 1948; and whereas the campus became the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1994, the mission of the college has been and continues to be one of excellence in teaching and learning. And whereas the State University of New York values its relationship with the Town of New Paltz, the Village of New Paltz, the Ulster County Legislature, and the State of New York, be it resolved that from April 2003 through April 2004, we shall celebrate 175 years of higher education in the Hudson Valley.
Be it also proclaimed to all that as we cherish the residents of the Town and the Village, we congratulate them and join them in celebration of their 325th anniversary. With a heritage that predates the United States of America, New Paltz boasts a proud and independent citizenry, who continue to be good neighbors to this university.
Therefore, all members of the New Paltz community shall join together in celebrating these joyous 175th and 325th anniversaries, and "the hills [shall] re-echo with glad crescendo our praises full and free." (New Paltz Alma Mater)
Lang, Elizabeth and Robert Lang. In a Valley Fair. New Paltz, New York: State University College of Education, 1960
Palmer, Parker. The Courage to Teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998