Commencement 2018

May 18, 19 & 20 | 2,500+ undergraduate & graduate degrees conferred | SUNY New Paltz

Graduate Commencement

Saturday Undergraduate Commencement

Sunday Undergraduate Commencement

“Commencement is a centuries-old tradition to formally and joyfully acknowledge the close of one chapter in our students’ lives and the beginning of the next. We recognize the achievement of these students, who have completed the hard academic work of earning a degree. Wherever you go and whatever you do from this time forward, you will always be part of New Paltz, and New Paltz will always be part of you.”

President Donald P. Christian

“It didn’t take me long to fall in love with this school and its community. It is here that I connected with people who are passionate about leaving their mark on the world; it is here that I realized my true potential, and witnessed others do the same. Most of all, if there is one thing that SUNY New Paltz has taught me, it is to never let anyone tell you that you can’t. Class of 2018, I know that we can, and we will, change the world one day.”


Class of 2018 Valedictorian Reem Ahmed ’18 (Accounting) of Queens, N.Y.



Saturday Speaker Janus Adams '67

Salutatorian Julia Friedman

Sunday Speaker Jim Ottaway

Valedictorian Reem Ahmed

"The last four years were filled with change: for our campus, for the world, for us. As our campus changed, so did the world; and in trying times, people are looking to our generation as a force for great change. I share this podium with all of you, because our success depends on community, and community depends on our success – one is nothing without the other."

Class of 2018 Salutatorian Julia Friedman ’18 (Communication Disorders) of Centerport, N.Y.

BFA Show

“There’s a reason commencements are in May, the season of new beginnings. You can feel it in the air, everywhere: May, when Earth’s northern half springs to life, fat with green, the color of new life. Class of 2018, in the wondrous fulfillment of your being green is the potential and the power to be all you are, at one with the universe. Go now, be green, and be great!”

 Janus Adams ’67 (Theatre Arts) - Saturday Commencement Speaker

Class of 2018 raises a glass at Senior Toast

"You have the special privilege of graduating from this distinguished university, and that gives you a special civic responsibility … As educated citizens of our free society, we all have the responsibility and the skills to seek the truth and research the facts on public issues in debate ... Be activists for the truth, for provable facts … and contribute to policy debates by speaking out in public, speaking truth to power … I celebrate you today for your hard-earned degrees and wish you success in your life's work, starting tomorrow.”

James H. Ottaway Jr. - Sunday Commencement Speaker