hat toss 2021

May 14–16 & May 22–23, 2021

A two-weekend celebration on the Old Main Quad, recognizing the accomplishments of our 2021 graduates and welcoming back our 2019 and 2020 alumni for long-awaited in-person ceremonies.

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, SUNY New Paltz President


Salutatorian, Sery Pak


Student Association President, Haley Hershenson

Student Association President

First World graduation president, Deshanel

First World Graduation President

Portrait of SUNY New Paltz President, Donald Christian
SUNY New Paltz President
Speaker, Everton Henriques
SUNY New Paltz Foundation Development Committee
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras
SUNY Chancellor
United State Senator
United States Senator of New York
Lieutenant Kathy Hocul
Lieutenant Governor of New York

"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

Collage of students on Convocation

We celebrated you 

when you first arrived at New Paltz for Convocation, and now we celebrate all you've accomplished during your time here.

"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

Collage of Virtual meetings

MEETING REMOTELY: Sustainability Ambassadors | Latino Greek Council | Sculpture Class Masks Project 

“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

Collage of Athletic wins

Championships: 2018 Women's Field Hockey | 2019 Men's Volleyball | 2019 Women's Basketball | 2020 Women's Basketball | 2021 Women's Tennis

Hugo Mascot raising a glass to toast for the Seniors
senior toast

Virtual Senior Toast Ceremony

Senior Toast Montage link

Senior Toast Video Montage

"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  


Art Exhibition Poster

Celebrating seniors’ art exhibitions, capstone projects, theses and awards

honors ceremony

Honors Program Graduation Ceremony

image of medallion for Distinguished Seniors in Student Affairs

Distinguished Seniors in Student Affairs

School of Business Awards recipient

School of Business Awards and Graduation Ceremony

Lavender Celebration Cords

Lavender Ceremony

Commencement Postcard


Follow us on Instagram @sunynewpaltz, where we’ll be sharing our favorite moments