News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz

Rain forces graduate ceremony indoors

Graduate Commencement
President Steven Poskanzer officially opens the 2006 May Graduate Ceremony. Due to rain, staff scrambled to reassemble the venue in the new Athletic and Wellness Center

At 1 p.m. Friday, May 19, campus officials were faced with a decision: hold the ceremony in the cold, driving rain or quickly move it to the Athletic and Wellness Center, all before 6 p.m.

At 1:30 p.m., the calls went out and the decision was made – the college would hold its first non-athletic event in the new facility.

Facilities Management immediately went to work, rolling out the flooring and setting up more than 700 chairs in the gymnasium. The stage was in place before 3 p.m., and in order for the candidates to descend the far side of the stage, an extra set of stairs had to be made and put in place. All was completed by 4 p.m., including custom skirting around the stage.

“We knew it would be a stretch,” said Shelly Wright, executive assistant to the president, “but we have a superior team of people on this campus and it went off without a hitch. I think everyone was much happier – and drier.”

More than 160 graduate candidates were hooded on stage and approximately 1,000 people attended the ceremony.

Graduate Commencement
Above: Graduate School Dean Laurel Garrick Duhaney (right) presents candidates to Provost David Lavallee. Right: John VanderLippe (History) leads the stage party into the gymnasium.

Graduate Commencement

MAY 22, 2006
Volume 4, Issue 10

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