Aidan Quinn to receive honorary degree from SUNY New Paltz at May Commencement
NEW PALTZ -- The State University of New York at New Paltz is pleased to announce that Aidan Quinn will be the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts and the guest speaker at the May 2005 Commencement exercises to be held at 10 a.m., May 22, on the Old Main Quadrangle.
The college will hold a separate ceremony for graduate students beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 20, also on the Old Main Quadrangle.
Quinn, an accomplished artist in theater, movies and television, has roots in both Ireland and the United States, receiving his education in both countries. College President Steven Poskanzer said that Quinn was chosen to receive an honorary degree not just because of his great talent and significant body of work, but also because he has been selective about the types of roles he pursues - attempting to explore larger social issues.
"Mr. Quinn has chosen roles that tap into his international experiences," said Poskanzer, whose campus is the leader among SUNY schools for the number of students who study abroad and for the number of international students. "In short, his independence and international identity make him an excellent role model for our students."
Quinn, who has met with theatre students on campus in the past, has been warmly received by students and faculty members.
Quinn has starred in more than 25 films, including "Desperately Seeking Susan" (1985); "Avalon" (1990); "At Play in the Fields of the Lord" (1991); "The Playboys" (1992); "Benny & Joon" (1993); "Blink" and "Legends of the Fall" (both 1994); "Michael Collins" (1996), and "The Assignment" (1997).
His theater credits include the title role in "Hamlet," and Stanley Kowalski in "Street Car Named Desire," among others.
In Ireland, Quinn produced and starred in "This Is My Father," written and directed by his brother Paul Quinn and filmed by his brother Declan Quinn, an award-winning cinematographer. The three brothers served as executive producers on the project.
In addition, some of Quinn's television credits include the NBC drama "An Early Frost," in which he received an Emmy nomination for his role as an AIDS victim; and the PBS/American Playhouse production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons." He recently starred in Court TV's "The Exonerated," a film that sheds light on the devastation and torment that surrounds the death penalty. And he is co-starring with Paul Neuman and Ed Harris in "Empire Falls" currently on HBO.
This May, there are 1,088 undergraduate degree candidates, of which just more than 800 have chosen to participate in the commencement exercises.
This year's valedictorian, Jean Elaine Thompson of New Paltz, will also address the undergraduates. Thompson, originally a resident of Bucksport, Maine, will receive her bachelor's degree in art education.
The May 2005 salutatorian, Casey Lynn Doty of Pine Bush, will be receiving her bachelor's degree in math.
On Friday, more than 160 graduate candidates (of a total of 341) will participate in a formal "hooding ceremony," where the deans will officially "hood" the students as they walk across the stage. It is expected that there will be more than 5,000 family members and guests on campus for both ceremonies throughout the weekend.
Quinn has a home in the New Paltz area and is frequently seen in New Paltz.
For more information about the 2005 May Commencement Ceremony, visit www.newpaltz.edu/commencement.
Note to editors: A photograph of Aidan Quinn may be downloaded from the SUNY New Paltz Web site at www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/quinn.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.