New Paltz Confers Over 2,000 Degrees in Three Days

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz hosted Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement Ceremonies on May 17, 18 and 19, 2024, in a well-deserved celebration for students earning their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The University’s Commencement exercises were held in the Athletic & Wellness Center with an evening Graduate Ceremony held on Friday, May 17, and Undergraduate Ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19.

This year, approximately 1,660 undergraduate and 600 graduate degrees will be conferred, recognizing those who will conclude their studies in May and August 2024 candidates, and those who completed their degrees in January 2024, August 2023 and December 2023.

“Thank you to the family, friends, and mentors who have shown us unwavering support, guidance, and love,” said Class of 2024 Valedictorian Julia Lombard ’24 (Psychology).

“Thank you to the faculty members who have provided us with the space to grow and flourish, inspiring us to ask pertinent questions, to have open dialogue, and to generate and synthesize novel ideas. We share our successes with all of you, and I invite you to celebrate our triumphs with us.”

The University welcomed two distinguished alumni, Jessica Faieta ’85 (Economics; Business Administration) and Myra Kressner ’76 (Secondary Education: English), to join the Commencement exercises and to deliver addresses to the assembled graduates at the Saturday and Sunday ceremonies, respectively.

“You may not know today what your career or future will be,” Kressner said. “Don’t be afraid of the change that is coming exponentially faster than we can incorporate. Some things will not be in your control. Expect to make mistakes – I certainly did. But your integrity, your authenticity, earning respect and understanding the true value of your reputation are within your control and will help determine your success. I had to learn all this, and so will you.”

“I urge you to embrace the spirit of adventure and curiosity that has brought you to this moment,” Faieta said. “Care deeply about what happens in the world, not just within the confines of our own communities, but across borders and oceans. Open your hearts and minds to the realities faced by those who are marginalized and less privileged, and let empathy and compassion be your guiding lights.”

“To anyone who’s thinking of going to college, I would say you should immerse yourself in the college experience,” said Chanel Abban ’24 (Marketing; Management) of the Bronx, New York. “Out of these four years, I tried my best to try new experiences and do things that were out of my comfort zone, and I felt like that contributed to my college career.”

“This school felt like a second home for me,” said Sheila Chamorro Perez ’23 (Communication Disorders) of Poughkeepsie, New York. “That’s all you can ask for from a college experience.”

“It feels like a good day,” said Louis Webster ’24 (Philosophy) of Ithaca, New York. “There may be a lot of pain in the world, but there’s none in this room right now.”

“Graduation means for me that I finally found the career of my dreams where I belong, and I’m going to help people make the best of their lives,” Carina Scivolette ’24g (Clinical Mental Health Counseling) of Ossining, New York.

“Being in college is one of the most crucial times in life,” said Geanna Matos ’24 (Sociology—Human Services), president of the First World New Paltz organization. “We faced many challenges during our time here, but we overcame them together.”

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