December commencement returns to campus
NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz will hold its December Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement Exercises on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15, in the Athletic and Wellness Center.
This will be first time the ceremonies, which recognize the achievements of August and December graduates, have been held on campus since the college’s first December commencement took place on campus in 2000. Since 2001, these ceremonies have been held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie.
While the college gained some advantages by holding ceremonies in the Civic Center, College President, Steven Poskanzer, said “we lost some of our sense of community by marking the most important event of our students' academic life in an off-campus venue.”
Because the new gymnasium in the Athletic and Wellness Center has a seating capacity of 1,800 as compared to the Civic Center’s 3,000 seats, there will be three ceremonies held over the two days.
• The undergraduate ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education will take place on Friday, Dec. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m.
• The undergraduate ceremony for the School of Business, the School of Fine and Performing Arts and the School of Science and Engineering will take place Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to noon.
• The graduate ceremony will take place Saturday, Dec. 15, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The graduate candidates will participate in a formal "hooding ceremony," where their academic deans will officially "hood" the students as they walk across the stage.
The Provost’s Office has announced a tie in determining the valedictorian. Both Mary Corbin, a communication disorders major from Wappingers Falls, and Florence Nelson, an electrical engineering major and computer science minor from Poughkeepsie, will share the honors. Each has a 3.99 grade point average.
Corbin will give her valedictory speech on Friday evening and Nelson will address her fellow graduates at the Saturday morning ceremony.
Commencement coordinator Judy Albertson said there are 510 candidates scheduled to attend the ceremonies out of a total graduating class of 1,065. There are 251 candidates expected to participate in Friday’s ceremony, 114 in Saturday morning’s ceremony and 145 will participate in the afternoon
Albertson said that having three ceremonies leads to a more intimate atmosphere where the emphasis is on the interaction between students and faculty.
The ceremonies have a special meaning for Bethany Coates, a Spanish major who, after three years of working in the Commencement Office, will don a cap and gown as a December 2007 graduate.
“It is fitting that we say goodbye on the same ground on which we began our college careers,” said Coates.
For more information about the 2007 SUNY New Paltz December Commencement ceremony, visit www.newpaltz.edu/commencement.
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.