Commencement ceremonies on the first weekend recognize December 2020 and January 2021 graduates, and May 2021 and August 2021 candidates.
Commencement ceremonies on the second weekend recognize December 2019, January 2020, May 2020 and August 2020 graduates.
“We recognize the achievement of students who have completed the hard academic work of earning a degree, especially during these last 14 months of remote learning and a very different kind of academic experience. You will always be known as one of the classes that graduated in the midst of the coronavirus. I would encourage you to see this as a struggle that you have overcome, and therefore, a life experience that will strengthen you for the struggles and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Donald P. Christian
"I want to challenge you all to own the fact that you finished college and earned that degree during a global pandemic. Nothing about it was ideal, but everything about it was courageous and resilient. Be proud of that resilience. Remember to take with you all that you have learned at New Paltz, and to honor the knowledge and experience you gained outside of the classroom as being just as valuable."
Haley Hershenson ’20 (Early Childhood & Childhood Education), Student Association President
"As you all look toward the future, know that your SUNY education has prepared you to succeed in whatever you put your mind to: leaving a positive impact on your communities, always striving to solve our world’s most pressing problems, and being stewards of excellence and innovation. As the newest members of the three-million-strong SUNY family, I wish you luck as you start this exciting next chapter of your life, and look forward to seeing all that you accomplish. I know that you will do great things. Congratulations!"
Jim Malatras, SUNY Chancellor
“My journey through college looked very different from what I expected. But I've found that the variety of relationships I built over the years, with my family and coworkers, as well as faculty and peers at SUNY New Paltz, taught me the skills, autonomy, and confidence needed to transition into post-college life.”
Rachel Brainerd ’20 (Visual Arts), Valedictorian
"The transformation you made at New Paltz is not a fleeting change, but deep-rooted, because it was forged by the fires of consequence. You succeeded academically, developed inner strength and new coping mechanisms that will make you better human beings. Today you are better prepared for life than I was at my Commencement in 1978. So, congratulations again on your accomplishments, and I wish you continued success on your journey."
Everton H. Henriques ’78 ’83g (Chemistry), SUNY New Paltz Foundation Development Committee