building capacity

Program Support
Priority Goal: $8 million

SUNY New Paltz is committed to establishing the strongest foundation for long-term success and providing resources for underserved, underrepresented and military-affiliated students. The College offers numerous special programs that raise its profile as a leader in higher education in the Hudson Valley. These programs are made possible or are enhanced through grants and private philanthropy.

Full image of student crowd at 2019 Convocation ceremony

Schools & Programs

Philanthropy—from corporations, foundations, and countless individuals—creates career-launching opportunities and fosters innovation and creativity across the campus, where virtually every Department benefits from Foundation support.


Generous contributions to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Schools of Business, Education, Fine & Performing Arts, and Science & Engineering support the life-altering experiences that our students and alumni remember. 


Our commitment to support first-generation college students, economically underprivileged students, military-affiliated students, and academically gifted students ultimately can enable all our scholars to succeed.

The Honors Program at SUNY New Paltz

The Honors Program at SUNY New Paltz is one of the biggest such programs in the SUNY system, with an enrollment of more than 225 students. Honors students gain access to a variety of benefits, including:

  • Honors Interdisciplinary Seminars: Small, conversation-driven courses that challenge students and faculty alike to apply learning from different disciplines to solve contemporary problems.
  • Honors Thesis: The capstone experience for New Paltz Honors students pushes them to work on and off campus—with faculty mentors, fellow students, industry experts and employers—to produce an original thesis in their area of study.

The Office of Graduate & Extended Learning

The Office of Graduate & Extended Learning has a proud history of providing professionals in the Hudson Valley region and beyond the tools for success in their chosen careers. By providing administrative, admissions and academic advising services, it promotes academic excellence and program and curriculum development.


  • Distance Learning offers 100+ online undergraduate and graduate courses in a variety of disciplines leading towards a degree.
  • Summer Session includes hundreds of courses offered at all levels in seated, blended (seated and online) and online formats.
  • The Lifetime Learning Institute provides a broad array of noncredit, noncompetitive courses for adult learners 55 years and older.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core values at SUNY New Paltz, beginning with our admissions practices and then ensuring that each student flourishes once enrolled. Diversity at the College is represented in all human differences through intersecting identities, race/ethnicity, sexual identity/orientation, ideas and world views, national origin, gender, religion, age, physical ability, socioeconomic status and life experiences, to name just a few.

A diverse educational experience creates an educated citizenry, one that can address the complex issues facing our polarized society and can sustain our democratic way of life.

While SUNY New Paltz provides an exceptional living and learning community, we recognize that we still have progress to make. We must advance not just demographic diversity, but inclusion of thought, expression and experience.

From the manifestation of our heritage in a bronze statue of Sojourner Truth to campus training that helps us better talk about our differences, we aspire to create a campus community that supports our values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) supports access to higher education for historically underrepresented and underserved students. EOP assists students in acquiring the necessary skills, knowledge and attributes to enter and complete a postsecondary education, while providing

an environment that recognizes the diversity of backgrounds and learning styles of our students. EOP has graduated more than 70,000 alumni from throughout the SUNY system.

The Office of Veteran & Military Services (OVMS)

The Office of Veteran & Military Services (OVMS), established at SUNY New Paltz in 2014, supports veteran and military students as they pursue their education. These students face challenges particular to their military affiliation, including deployment obligation and return to college life afterwards, family responsibilities and complex federal programs of tuition assistance and veteran affairs.

The College is proud of its thriving OVMS. In 2018–19, more than 400 military-affiliated students attended SUNY New Paltz, up from approximately 75 such students in 2013-14. We attribute this greater than 500% growth to the range of services and attention our students receive and to the great respect they are afforded on campus.

The Scholar's Mentorship Program (SMP)

The Scholar's Mentorship Program (SMP) is a networking initiative for high-achieving general admission students of color that recognizes networking as a major key to success in the 21st Century.

The program has grown to a multifaceted program with 56 faculty/ staff mentors and 230+ protégés.

The museum's exhibition program has been hailed as one of the best in the region, epitomized by Jervis McEntee: Painter Poet of the Hudson River School.

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art

Located at the geographic center of campus and celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, is one of the largest museums in the SUNY system with more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries.

The Dorsky’s permanent collection comprises approximately 6,000 works of historical and contemporary American art, with a concentration on the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions, metals and an extensive and growing photography collection. Additionally, a focused collection of world objects dating to antiquity and representing diverse cultures enhances the Museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

Through its collections, exhibitions and public events, The Dorsky enriches academic life at the College and serves as a cultural hub for the Hudson Valley region and beyond. The Museum has gained world-class recognition with exhibitions featuring the art of Lesley Dill, Andrew Lyght, Robert Morris, Carolee Schneemann, Ushio Shinohara and Andy Warhol, among many others. The ambitious year-round exhibition program has been reviewed regularly in The New York Times, ArtNews, Art in America, Hyperallergic, Times-Herald Record and National Public Radio.

A magnificent manifestation of the power of philanthropy, The Dorsky engages audiences with high-quality exhibitions, in-depth scholarly catalogues and unique public programs —all of which are made possible by the generosity of individual donors.


I donate so that The Dorsky can organize top-notch exhibitions and reach out to residents of all ages in our region."





Totally Dedicated: Leonard Contino, 1940–2016” opened at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in January 2020 and was curated by Anna Conlan. Featuring more than 80 artworks, “Totally Dedicated” is the largest exhibition of Leonard Contino’s work to date and encompasses large hard-edge geometric paintings, playful collages, delicate reliefs and sculptures from the 1960s through the 2000s.


The James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship of Journalism

The James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship of Journalism

With a generous gift in 2000 James H. (Jim) Ottaway Jr. ’18 hon, pictured above, and Mary Ottaway ’70g (Elementary Education) established the James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship of Journalism, which was the first endowed professorship at SUNY New Paltz.

The Ottaways founded the professorship in memory of Jim’s father, James Sr., who was the founder and former chief executive of Ottaway Newspapers, formerly The Dow Jones Local Media Group until it was sold to News Corp. The professorship recognizes the remarkable contributions to journalism of James H. Ottaway Sr., who died in January 2000 at the age of 88. Ottaway Sr. was a founder of the American Press Institute, an industry education center in Virginia, which awarded him the center’s first-ever lifetime achievement award in 1996.

The goal of the James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship of Journalism is to provide New Paltz students with the skills to become better writers and courageous journalists. Ottaway Visiting Professors are distinguished, award-winning journalists with extensive national and international credentials, who come to campus for up to one semester to teach students and engage with the community about the use of the written word in the craft of journalism at its best.


SUNY New Paltz has attracted excellent journalists from all media and engaged students in a unique program far beyond our expectations."





SUNY New Paltz recognized the distinguished life and career of New Paltz resident James H. Ottaway Jr.—journalist, newspaper executive, philanthropist and longtime friend of the College—with an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree on May 20, 2018. Ottaway also serves as honorary chair of Soaring Higher— The Campaign for SUNY New Paltz.


he HVAMC is now one of the top 3D printing/additive manufacturing labs in the country and a regional hub of innovation and production for designing, prototyping, and manufacturing.

The Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center

The Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) grew out of a unique partnership between the schools of Fine & Performing Arts and Science & Engineering. This collaboration also led to a new Digital Design and Fabrication minor that prepares students for 21st century manufacturing.

HVAMC is now one of the top 3D printing/additive manufacturing labs in the country and a regional hub of innovation and production for designing, prototyping and manufacturing. HVAMC staff provide expert advice on the process of building 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material, making this progressive technology accessible for regional businesses, entrepreneurs, community members and the entire SUNY New Paltz community.


This new facility is a demonstration of an understanding of where we are in the 21st century, and where we have to go to attract, educate, engage, enlighten and inspire the next generation of people who are going to make our world a better place."



Engineering Innovation Hub which opened on campus in 2019



The HVAMC is located in the College’s Engineering Innovation Hub which opened on campus in 2019. The space houses industry leading equipment to support students and faculty as well as the work of companies partnering with the College through 3D design and printing. Above, Assistant Professor of Art Aaron Nelson works with students in the HVAMC.


IDMH's Director, Amy Nitza (pictured right standing), with the other SUNY students who travelled to Coastal Bend, Texas to assist All Hands and Hearts in repairing homes which still require repair after Hurricane Harvey hit the region in 2017.

The Institute for Disaster Mental Health

The Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH), founded at SUNY New Paltz in 2004, prepares students, community members, paraprofessionals, and professionals in the helping fields to care for disaster and trauma survivors. It seeks to address the diversity of disaster mental health demands in the region, state, nation, and the global community so that all those impacted by disaster and trauma have access to essential mental health support. To accomplish this goal, IDMH provides leadership to advance the field of disaster mental health and trauma response through training, research, consultation, and service.  IDMH works to establish and disseminate best practices to ensure that all disaster mental health services are evidence-supported and culturally sensitive.

Undergraduates can earn an academic minor and graduate students can earn an advanced certificate—including real-world experience—in the emerging field of disaster mental health.  As an example of trauma service, Dr. Amy Nitza, director of the institute, and a team of her students were called to Texas and Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria to assist residents and first-responders to help them regain “their sense of being in control until they can help themselves.” Likewise, the Institute was there during the response to Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti.


The Benjamin Center

kt Tobin ’92 (Sociology), then-associate director of The Benjamin Center, welcomes Antonio Delgado, member of the U.S. House of Representatives for New York’s 19th Congressional District, to the College for a public conversation focused on his experience and priorities as he serves constituents in the 11-county district.


The Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz is a one-of-a-kind organization in which students and faculty work on policy issues that move the news cycle. It serves New York with applied research and evaluative studies, giving students unique opportunities to work with lawmakers, businesses, educators and media outlets on projects that truly affect people’s lives.

The Benjamin Center also supports the Legislative Gazette, the premier public affairs-reporting internship program in New York State. Students can earn a full semester’s worth of undergraduate credits as well as a twice-monthly stipend while reporting on state government. Since its founding in 1978, the Gazette has produced hundreds of alumni who have gone onto careers in law, government and journalism, including two Pulitzer Prize winners.

Kressner Family Autism Spectrum Disorder Program Fund

The Kressner Family Autism Spectrum Disorder Program Fund was created by alumna Myra (Rosenberg) Kressner ’76 (Adolescence Education: English) and supports students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by providing these students, as well as staff, with tools for academic and professional success.


The Kressner Family Autism Spectrum Disorder Program Fund was created by alumna Myra (Rosenberg) Kressner ’76 (Adolescence Education: English) and supports students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by providing these students, as well as staff, with tools for academic and professional success.

The cornerstone of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Program Fund supports transitions to employment through career exploration and job readiness preparation. A pilot seminar series was launched in January 2018 for more than 40 students diagnosed on the spectrum who were already receiving accommodations through the College’s Disability Resource Center. Additional seminar series that focused on building interpersonal and social skills began for new students in fall 2018. Future plans include additional experiential learning from internships to various off campus projects.


Sojourner Truth

In Fall 2021, SUNY New Paltz will unveil the newly-commissioned bronze statue Sojourner Truth: First Step to Freedom by Ulster County artist Trina Greene. The statue will commend the courage and vision of this extraordinary woman and will be placed in front of the Library named in her honor.

To contribute to this project or to learn more about Sojourner Truth please visit here.


Born into slavery here in Ulster County, Isabella, later known as Sojourner Truth, overcame her life in bondage to become an evangelist, civil and women’s rights activist, abolitionist, advocate for justice, and author.

If you would like to discuss unique opportunities to Build Capacity through program support on campus, please contact the Development team by emailing, calling us at 845-257-3240, or contact a team member directly by visiting here.



Give to the Campaign for SUNY New Paltz


A copy of our most recently filed financial report is available from the Charities Registry on the New York State Attorney General’s website ( or, upon request, by contacting the New York State Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005, or us at 1 Hawk Dr, New Paltz, NY 12561. You also may obtain information on charitable organizations from the New York State Office of the Attorney General at or (212) 416-8401.