SUNY New Paltz to celebrate commencement

NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz will hold the May 2013 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 19, on the Old Main Quadrangle on the New Paltz campus. The Graduate Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 17, at 6 p.m. in the same location.

This year, there are 2,059 undergraduate and 721 graduate degrees being conferred. There will be more than 1,400 undergraduates and more than 260 graduate candidates participating in the ceremonies who will celebrate their achievements in the presence of their family and friends. The ceremonies will recognize two cohorts of students: August and December 2012 and May and August 2013 candidates. New Paltz President Donald P. Christian will preside over the ceremonies. All members of the campus community are invited and encouraged to attend.

Maurice D. Hinchey, honorary degree recipient

Former U.S. Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, a New Paltz alumnus, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters at the Undergraduate Ceremony. Hinchey had a distinguished career in the New York State Assembly and the U.S. Congress. He was elected to the State Assembly in 1974 (serving from 1975 to 1993) and then to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992 (serving from 1993-2012), where he represented New York’s 22nd Congressional District (formerly the 26th district).

A leading progressive Democratic voice in Congress, he focused particularly on the environment and education and earned a reputation as a hard-working and effective advocate for the middle class. His strong leadership in these areas had significant impact on the Hudson Valley and on the New Paltz campus.

“Maurice Hinchey has applied his New Paltz education to improving his community, his state, and his nation ― but most especially the lives of his constituents,” said President Christian. “His advocacy and support of SUNY New Paltz have burnished our reputation, bolstered our resources, and helped us to better serve our students, the region, and the state. We are granting this honorary degree in recognition of his outstanding record of public service and his deeply valued relationship with the college, his alma mater.” Hinchey retired upon completing his 10th term in Congress in January 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1968 and a master’s degree in education in 1970, both from SUNY New Paltz.

Lori DuBord, commencement speaker

Lori DuBord, a class of ’94 New Paltz alumna and long-time regional representative for Congressman Hinchey, will be the commencement speaker. DuBord came to New Paltz as a returning student and proudly credits her return to academic life at the college for leading her toward a career in public service. “If it weren’t for the compelling coursework and the mentoring of the New Paltz faculty, I may have missed the greatest career opportunity of my life,” DuBord said.

DuBord, who was honored as the top graduate in the history department, began working in the congressman’s office as a student intern. She has served as his primary Hudson Valley representative, liaison to many organizations, and speech writer for 19 years. She is keenly aware of how much the congressman has valued his New Paltz education, as she does hers, and will discuss those impacts on their lives and careers, reflecting on the broader value of public higher education. She will highlight Congressman Hinchey’s many contributions to the region and the community, and his commitment to environmental causes. She hopes to inspire New Paltz graduates and honor the congressman and his accomplishments by telling the story of how they have both devoted their lives to public service.

Nicolette H. Glebatis, valedictorian

Nicolette H. Glebatis, of Nassau, N.Y., was selected as this year’s valedictorian. Glebatis has maintained an outstanding academic record, and will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication disorders with a deaf studies concentration. She completed her undergraduate education in December 2012 and is currently attending graduate school at the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y. She will deliver a short speech to her fellow graduates during the ceremony.

Joseph Bacchi, of Highland, N.Y., is the salutatorian. Bacchi, a participant in the Honors Program throughout his four years at New Paltz, will receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy with a religious studies concentration.

Enhanced security measures

In light of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, New Paltz will have enhanced security at the undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies. All participants and visitors who plan to attend should take into account the following:

  • Bag checks: Each of the three ticket entry points will require bag checks. All bags, regardless of size or circumstance, will be checked. Separate lines will be formed for those without bags. We recommend that individuals leave their bags at home or in their cars to avoid entering with bags.
  • Unattended bags found on property: Any unattended bag found on the grounds will be secured by University Police. Individuals should not leave their bags unattended. Any sightings of unattended bags should be reported to University Police.
  • The Old Main Circle will be closed to all vehicular traffic, with an exception for handicap drop-off. There will be no parking in the Old Main Circle other than emergency vehicle parking. Old Main Circle will be closed to vehicles the night before commencement.

2013 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

At the undergraduate ceremony, seven members of the college’s academic, professional, and classified staff will receive the 2013 Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in the categories of Classified Service, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, Faculty Service, and Teaching. The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are SUNY system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

Jeff Baker, the senior press operator for Printing Services in the Office of Communication and Marketing, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service; Richard Bodenschatz, associate dean of admissions in the Department of Undergraduate Admission will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; Hon Ho, a professor in the Department of Biology will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; Stacie Nunes, an assistant professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; Bruce Sillner, the dean of International Programs, will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; Stella Turk, an instructor in the Department of Communication Disorders and the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; and Jack Wade, a professor and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.