Annual Convocation at New Paltz welcomes incoming students
NEW PALTZ -- SUNY New Paltz will hold its 16th annual Convocation at noon on Aug. 23 in Julien J. Studley Theatre, located in the Old Main Building.
Convocation is a formal welcoming ceremony for incoming and transfer students, with a focus on the academic experience at the university. At the ceremony, new students and their families are introduced to the intellectual expectations and values that support the SUNY New Paltz community of scholars.
This year's Convocation will begin with a singing of "America the Beautiful" by Jannette DeWitt, a music major at New Paltz. Interim President Steven Poskanzer will make opening remarks; Provost David Lavallee will make the introduction; Barbara Hardgrave, presiding officer of the faculty, and Jonathan Amoia, president of the Student Association, will both officially welcome the new students; and members of the SUNY New Paltz faculty will also attend.
Richard Varbero, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will give the Convocation address. His speech is titled "Time Present and Time Past: Reflections on College Then and Now," a comparison between going to college in the aftermath of World War II and in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Varbero will also speak about the nature of our civilization, major occurrences of thought, scientific development, major works of the imagination, and philosophical and religious consequences and how they all relate to the qualities of a liberally educated person.
David Lavallee, provost and vice president for academic affairs at New Paltz, said Varbero has a reputation for thoroughly researched, challenging courses that introduce students to the most respected scholars in his field of history.
"Professor Varbero is very widely read and is a highly regarded source of expertise on the current issues and controversies of the academic life," said Lavallee. "Students often remark on his ability to skillfully integrate art, music and literature of 20th century European and American modernism in his history classes."
Varbero received his Ph.D. in history from Temple University and has been an associate professor of history at New Paltz since 1970. He has also been the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for 10 years.
Another feature of the annual Convocation ceremony is the presentation of SUNY New Paltz's Outstanding Student Service Awards to two university staff members. This award publicly recognizes and encourages outstanding service by staff who enhance student retention and success. The Outstanding Student Service Award Committee makes the awards based on nominations and letters of support primarily from students.
This year, the awards will go to Judy DePuy, engineering secretary, and Lucy Walker, computer services Web programmer. As the 2002 honorees, they will both receive award certificates during the ceremony.
Note to editors: Media wishing to attend this event should contact the SUNY New Paltz Public Affairs Office at 257-3245 by Aug. 22 for parking instructions, arrive at the event by 11:30 a.m., and see the event coordinator, Judy Albertson, or the public affairs interim director, Shelly Wright, for a press pass prior to entering the building.
A photograph of the Convocation speaker, Richard Varbero, can be found online at the following address: http://www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/varbero.html.
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.