College to welcome 1,120 new students from academically talented and diverse backgrounds

The State University of New York at New Paltz will welcome an academically talented and diverse group of 1,120 first-year students to the College community when it opens its residence hall doors for its annual Moving In Day at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19.

L. David Eaton, vice president for enrollment management, said the College selected its fall 2010 freshman class from a pool of more than 15,045 applicants, which represents the 20th consecutive year that New Paltz has received the most new student applications among all SUNY comprehensive colleges. This fall, the College accepted only 37 percent of its freshman and 36 percent of transfer applicants.

The new students will be joined over the weekend by 645 transfer students, for a total of 1,765 new students, which is consistent with previous years and the College’s goal to not grow enrollment.

The academic quality of New Paltz students continues to be exceptional. This year, freshmen have a high school average of 91 and a combined SAT score of 1170, while the transfer students enter with an average 3.4 GPA. More than 75 percent of the class come in with advanced standing, either through advanced placement, international baccalaureate or college course work.

Eaton said that 100 percent of New Paltz’s accepted freshman class comes from the top two of five SUNY quality groups. This fall, freshmen in the highest SUNY selectivity group make up about 40 percent of the entering class – up from 20 percent in 2002.

Lisa Jones, dean of admissions, said that the Class of 2014 is not only defined by its academic quality, but also by the level of diversity. The College continues to attract qualified students from all backgrounds. Of the first-year students reporting their ethnicity, 27 percent come from traditionally underrepresented groups.

“New Paltz is very good at attracting a diverse student body and this year is no exception – in fact, this is one of our most diverse groups ever. We feel that this is an essential element of what makes New Paltz such a well-regarded and attractive institution and is an attribute that makes us very proud,” said Jones.

Fall Convocation
On Friday, Aug. 20, in the Athletic & Wellness Center, new students attended Fall Convocation at noon, which simultaneously introduces the arriving class to formal academic ceremonies while featuring esteemed New Paltz faculty.

» See this year’s Photo Highlights

This year, Nancy E. Johnson of the English Department was the featured speaker. The title of Johnson’s Convocation Address is “A Revolution of the Mind.” Johnson, who was honored last May with the 2010 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, joined the New Paltz faculty in 1998 with a focus on 18th century English literature. She quickly emerged as an outstanding teacher, both in her scholarly field of 18th-century English literature and in a wide array of other specialties, including women in literature, literary criticism, early American literature and first-year composition.

New Leadership
With the summer departure of Steven Poskanzer to Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., New Paltz is now being led by Interim President Donald P. Christian. Christian, who came to New Paltz last August as the provost and vice president for academic affairs, will serve in the leadership role while the College conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

Opening of Student Union Atrium
This fall the campus will host a grand opening of the new $13.4 million, 15,000-square-foot expansion to the Student Union. At 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 13, The Student Union Atrium will officially open and will feature new dining venues, an enhanced bookstore, student lounge areas and an elevated seating area designed for student collaboration.

Steven Deutsch, director of Campus Auxiliary Services, said that the four eateries in the Atrium will include Mojo Vista, with Southwestern and Mexican cuisine; The Sub Stop, which will offer hot and cold sandwiches, subs and panini; Tokyo Sushi; and Seattle’s Best, which will operate a full-service café.

Additional Campus Improvements

Students will also notice an upgrade to the Parker Quadrangle in progress, including improved landscape design and new surfaces to the main pedestrian routes. This project, slated to be complete at the end of October, is a part of the multi-year Landscape Master Plan that will be implemented in several phases over the course of the next 15 years. The plan includes the Main Academic Concourse; the Hasbrouck Quad site renovation in combination with the Pond Restoration; the Mohonk Walk West (from the Main Academic Concourse to van den Berg Hall); and Mohonk East.

Additionally, the complete renovation of Old Main Building continues. The project will incorporate high-tech classrooms, more and modern faculty offices, electrical upgrades, central air-conditioning and beautifully restored and gracious finishes to the oldest building on campus. Old Main Building, which serves as the primary academic and administrative space for the School of Education and will also house other academic units, is expected to reopen in July 2011. Once complete, it will be the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified project on the campus. For a detailed construction map and for more information on campus improvements, visit