Convocation ceremony marks beginning of academic year

NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz will hold its 19th annual convocation at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 24, in the Julien J. Studley Theatre, located in the Old Main Building.

Convocation is a formal welcoming ceremony for incoming first-year students and transfer students, with a focus on the academic experience at the university. At the ceremony, new students are introduced to the intellectual expectations and values that support the SUNY New Paltz community of scholars.

This year’s convocation will begin with the singing of “America the Beautiful” by Charlotte Legg, a music major at New Paltz. President Steven G. Poskanzer will make opening remarks and Provost David K. Lavallee will give the introduction. John VanderLippe, presiding officer of the faculty, and Richard J. Pardington, president of the Student Association, will both officially welcome the new students. Members of the SUNY New Paltz faculty will also attend.

Gerald Benjamin, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will introduce the Convocation speaker, Jan Zlotnik Schmidt, Distinguished Teaching Professor in the English department. The address is titled “The Intangibles of a College Education: The Private and the Public Imagination.”

Zlotnik Schmidt recently received the Chancellor’s award in recognition of her teaching excellence and was recognized at the May 2005 Commencement ceremony.

Note to editors: A photograph of the Convocation speaker, Jan Zlotnik Schmidt, may be downloaded from the SUNY New Paltz Web site at