SUNY New Paltz will hold a series of smaller, shorter, in-person commencement ceremonies for the 2021 graduates on May 14-16 and 2020 graduates on May 22-23, on the Old Main Quad on campus.
Ceremonies will occur rain-or-shine on consecutive weekends. The first weekend will be a 2021 commencement for May and August 2021 candidates, and December 2020 and January 2021 graduates.
The second weekend (May 22-23) will be for the December 2019, January 2020, May 2020 and August 2020 graduates who were unable to participate in an in-person ceremony last year due to the pandemic.
“We have tried to balance health and safety concerns with providing our graduates with the celebration that they want and deserve,” said President Donald Christian. “Our planning includes low-density, reduced-gathering-size and streamlined outdoor ceremonies on campus, consistent with current state guidance on large event gatherings.”
Other health and safety policies, such as masking and social distancing, will be in place.
To hold in-person ceremonies, the college is unable to invite any guests to attend commencement this year. The events will be live-streamed so that alumni, friends and family members can hear their graduate’s name called, watch them cross the stage and receive their diploma cover from the comfort and safety of home. The live streams will remain online and can be viewed on demand for one year after the event.
SUNY New Paltz has named Rachel Brainerd (visual arts) of Poughkeepsie the valedictorian of the Class of 2021 and Sery Pak (biology) of Orangeburg the salutatorian.
SUNY New Paltz’s commencement ceremonies will be webcast online at http://totalwebcasting.com/live/newpaltz.