SUNY New Paltz Announces Commencement Speakers

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz will recognize the lives and careers of three distinguished members of the campus community – Lily D. McNair, Ph.D., Ed Carroll ’85, and Everton H. Henriques ’78 ’83g – with Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degrees at the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, 2022.

The three honorees will join us for Commencement exercises on the Old Main Quad and will deliver addresses to the graduating class as part of our ceremonies.

Please read on for brief bios of our three honorary guests and links to more extensive profiles of their professional accomplishments and contributions to the New Paltz community.

Lily D. McNair became the first woman in Tuskegee University history to serve as president when she was appointed to that role in 2018.

Her first higher ed teaching position was in the SUNY New Paltz Department of Psychology, and she has enjoyed 30-plus years of professional success and recognition at institutions across the U.S. since that initial role.
“This is a special moment for me – to be recognized by SUNY New Paltz, where I started my academic career, and a place I call home,” McNair said. “I look forward to speaking with our newest graduates in Liberal Arts and Sciences, and giving them the congratulations that they so rightly deserve.”

McNair will speak at the Saturday, May 21, Commencement Ceremony.

Ed Carroll ’85 (Communication & Media) served for more than 30 years with AMC Networks, playing a central role in introducing original shows including “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul,” “Mad Men,” “Killing Eve,” and “The Walking Dead.”

A longtime friend and supporter of his alma mater, Carroll met his wife, Gina, while they were undergraduates here, and together they created the Edward A. Carroll and Gina O’Brien-Carroll Experiential Scholarship, which supports honors students pursuing engaged learning activities outside the classroom.

“It is both gratifying and humbling to be recognized by President Christian and SUNY for this honor,” Carroll said. “What seemed like a random decision three decades ago to attend SUNY New Paltz (Stony Brook was too close, Albany too far…) in retrospect was a truly pivotal decision in my life. And now many roads for me and Gina seem to be leading back to this very special university and town.”

Carroll will speak at the Saturday, May 21, Commencement Ceremony.

Everton H. Henriques ’78 ’83g (Chemistry) is an engineer, entrepreneur, chemist, inventor, manufacturing consultant, business executive and innovator in the field of plasma display technology.

He is also a widely recognized philanthropist who has maintained a strong connection with the College, helping to establish 10 endowments benefitting students across academic programs and serving as a Foundation Board director for more than 15 years, among many other contributions.

“When I met with President Christian to discuss this honor, I was deeply touched in a way that I could not express in words at the time,” Henriques said. “I was extremely humbled that I would be considered for selection by people and by an institution that I have a lot of love and respect for. I’ve always identified this campus as a home away from home for me and also my children, and I’m deeply grateful for the honor.”

Henriques will speak at the Sunday, May 22, Commencement Ceremony.

About SUNY New Paltz Commencement 2022
This year’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, 2022, on the Old Main Quad on the SUNY New Paltz campus. Both ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m.

The Saturday Ceremony honors graduates of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the Sunday Ceremony honors graduates of the School of Business, School of Education, School of Fine & Performing Arts and School of Science & Engineering.

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 20, at 6 p.m., also on the Old Main Quad. More information at

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