College to celebrate commencement for more than 900 undergraduate candidates
As is tradition at the State University of New York at New Paltz, the Old Main Quadrangle will be the site of the May 2009 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 17. The ceremony will acknowledge the accomplishments of more than 900 undergraduate candidates who will be participating in the ceremony out of 1,146 total candidates in this May’s graduating class.
At the ceremony, college President Steven Poskanzer will speak and will award singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant with an honorary Doctorate of Music. College Provost David Lavallee will also offer brief remarks, reflecting on his decade as leader of the academic division as he prepares to step down from his position to join the faculty in the Chemistry Department in the fall.
Joy Simmerman (Accounting) and Joseph Felice (Psychology), who both achieved an overall grade point average of 4.0, will be recognized as the class of 2009 valedictorians at the event. Simmerman, who is also a full-time employee in the Office of Academic Affairs, will address her fellow graduates.
Simmerman, a resident of Saugerties, said she may consider pursuing a master’s degree in business, but in the meantime, she is enjoying learning the Spanish language and hopes to continue taking Spanish classes.
While at New Paltz, Felice has been very involved in the local community. He is a lieutenant with the New Paltz Rescue Squad where he serves as an EMT, and is training to become a paramedic this summer. The Pine Bush resident said he is also considering attending medical school.
Also at the ceremony, six members of the college’s academic, professional and classified staff will receive Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Kristin Backhaus (Business), Daniel Freedman (Chemistry) and Glenn Geher (Psychology) will receive awards for Excellence in Teaching. Christine DeLape (Fine and Performing Arts) will receive the Excellence for Professional Service Award. Jenelle Kelsey (University Police) will receive the Excellence for Classified Service Award. Rose Rudnitski (Educational Administration) will receive the Excellence for Faculty Service Award.
These six individuals join a list of 43 other New Paltz academic, professional and classified staff and emeriti faculty who have received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. For a complete list of the names and the award areas, visit www.newpaltz.edu/acadaff/chancellorsawards.html.
On Friday, May 15, the college will grant master’s degrees to 146 participating graduate candidates in the Athletic and Wellness Center, beginning at 6 p.m., at the 2009 Graduate Commencement Ceremony. There are a total of 287 graduate candidates for May 2009.
Both commencement ceremonies are ticketed events, and all graduation candidates and spectators must present tickets to participate. For more information, 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.