More than 1,100 to graduate in May 20 commencement
NEW PALTZ -- Ceremony to be webcast to reach global audience
Under the theme of "It's your turn," 1,185 SUNY New Paltz students will be awarded their degrees on May 20 on the campus's Old Main Quadrangle.
The commencement will also commemorate several "50s" milestones for the university, which include:
- New Paltz will surpass the 50,000-graduate mark. Starting as a classical school in 1828, SUNY New Paltz is now one of the most selective public universities in the Northeast, with five schools offering programs in business, education, fine and performing arts, engineering, and liberal arts and sciences.
- The Graduate School will celebrate 50 years of granting advanced degrees.
The May 2001 valedictorian will be Reetu Grewal, a biology major from Long Valley, N.J. The salutatorian will be Ethel Diane Wesdorp, with majors in sociology and women's studies. She is from Saugerties.
In addition to certificates of advanced study, master's degrees and bachelor's degrees, honorary degrees will be awarded to Native American activist Adam "Fortunate Eagle" Nordwall and early childhood educator Vivian Gussin Paley. Paley will be the commencement speaker.
Nordwall was the architect of the 1969 Native American takeover of Alcatraz Island. The ensuing 19-month occupation of the island became a watershed in the American Indian protest and activist movement by transcending traditional tribalism and uniting hundreds of Indian people who identified with the call for self-determination, autonomy and respect for Indian culture. His role is described in two of his publications: Alcatraz! Alcatraz! and "The Legal Adventures of Fortunate Eagle: The Activist Formerly Known as Adam Nordwall."
Paley is the author of 10 books about the behavior and thought of preschoolers, which are based on her 40-year career as an early childhood educator. She was the first classroom teacher to be awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship "genius grant," and her books have shattered the stereotypes of the simplicity of early childhood education and the thinking of young children.
Nordwall and Paley will be awarded honorary doctorates of humane letters.
The ceremony will be held on the campus' Old Main Quadrangle, and will begin at 11 a.m. For family and friends unable to attend the ceremony, the commencement will be webcast live at www.newpaltz.edu.
This will be the second year the May commencement will be webcast. Bringing the commencement to homes around the world recognizes the international make-up of the university's student body and emphasizes a desire to include all family and friends in the ceremony.
NOTE TO EDITORS: A complete listing of graduates, by town is available online at http://hawk.newpaltz.edu/commencement/searchgraduates.cfm. From this site, lists can be created based on hometown, hometown ZIP code and name. In addition, SUNY New Paltz Public Affairs can provide a list to editors in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Contact Ken Ross at (845) 257-3245 for more information.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.