Record number candidates to attend December 17 commencement ceremony
NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz will hold its December Commencement exercises from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie on Sunday, Dec. 17. The ceremony for undergraduate students begins at 10 a.m. and will be followed by the ceremony for graduate students at 2:30 p.m.
Because of the record number of participants, the college is splitting the event into two ceremonies, just as it now does for May commencement. There are 1,078 graduate and undergraduate candidates this December, and 558 have chosen to participate in the ceremony – a 17 percent increase from last year and a record for the December ceremony.
Kelly Long, December 2006 Valedictorian
After spending her senior year at Kanazawa University in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan, Kelly Long (Asian Studies) of Endwell returned to New Paltz this fall to hand in her senior thesis and graduate as the December 2006 valedictorian. Long is applying to graduate school to pursue studies in international and public administration, with a focus on non-governmental organization management.
This December’s salutatorian, Kimberly VanVoorhis (Elementary Education/Biology) arrived at New Paltz in 2003 with an associate degree in business from Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie. She lives in Pleasant Valley with her husband, Roy, and their daughters, Mackenzie and Samantha. VanVoorhis, however, is not saying goodbye to New Paltz. She will pursue her master’s in literacy from the college’s Graduate School.
Kimberly VanVoorhis, December 2006 Salutatorian
This December, Kurt Matzdorf, professor emeritus of gold and silversmithing, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the undergraduate ceremony. He will lead the stage party carrying the college mace he created in 1981 for the inauguration of Alice Chandler, president emerita. Matzdorf, who founded the college’s Metals Program and taught at the college from 1957 to 1985, is the designer and creator of both the mace and chain of office. He is nationally known for his ceremonial work, especially his 16 university maces, 20 presidential chains of office and 10 presidential medallions.
The Lager family of Wallkill will be celebrating the success of their son and daughter, Joseph and Naomi. Joseph is receiving his undergraduate degree in accounting and Naomi in communication. Upon completion of her associate degree at SUNY Orange, Naomi said that she decided to take some time off from college. She credits her younger brother, Joseph, who completed his associate degree from SUNY Orange after her, with helping to convince her to enroll at New Paltz.
Once at New Paltz, Joseph and Naomi said that they excelled in the pursuit of their degrees. Joseph is a member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society in the School of Business. Naomi has remained on the dean's list all four semesters in attendance at New Paltz.
Although Joseph and Naomi enrolled at New Paltz at the same time they rarely saw one another because of their full schedules. It was not until this past year, with the opening of the new Athletic and Wellness Center, that they began meeting before class to share some time together during their morning workouts.
Joseph said he plans on applying for a job at the Internal Revenue Service as a revenue agent and ultimately earning his master’s degree at New Paltz. Naomi said she plans on traveling to the West to visit friends before she pursues her Master’s in Social Work. Ultimately, she hopes to become a relationship/marriage counselor.
For more information about the 2006 SUNY New Paltz December Commencement ceremony, visit www.newpaltz.edu/commencement.
To view the interior of the Civic Center, for directions, and to become more familiar with the surrounding area, access the Web site at www.midhudsonciviccenter.com. The SUNY New Paltz University Police office may also be called (845-257-2222) for weather conditions in our area or, if necessary, commencement cancellation 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.