New Paltz alumni gathered with President Donald P. Christian and SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher for a dinner and conversation about the College and SUNY System on March 9. The dinner was followed by the latest installment of “Hot Chocolate with the President,” a conversation series in residence halls with students.
“It is my privilege to speak with and listen to the New Paltz community,” Christian said. “Though our alumni and our current students find themselves in different phases of their lifetime education, each group has a vested interest in the success of the College. I view these conversations as opportunities to collaborate on the new ideas and programs that will enable us to better serve future generations of alumni and students.”
Attendees of the alumni dinner, members of graduate classes ranging from 1960 – 2014, fielded questions from Chancellor Zimpher about why they chose to attend SUNY New Paltz, what aspects of their education enabled them to succeed after graduation and what aspects they feel could be improved.
“We are using the voices of students and alumni to compel the state legislature to invest in SUNY, so more students graduate and enter the New York workforce,” Zimpher said. “This is an irresistible bargain for the students, their families and for New York State.”
“I applaud President Christian and Chancellor Zimpher for their decision to engage alums and other stakeholders, from various decades, to solicit our input regarding our experience at New Paltz and the things that were of most value to us while in attendance and later in the professional world,”said Everton Henriques ’78, ’83g (Chemistry). ” I believe this is the sort of dialog that brings real understanding of the alumni and stakeholder experiences to the table, builds consensus and adds credibility and strength to the argument for support of this jewel we have in our State University System.”
During “hot chocolate,” Christian discussed a range of topics with students, including campus construction and renovation projects, the College’s performance in recent national higher education rankings, the new Co-Curricular Transcript and the SUNY-wide efforts to address the serious issue of campus sexual assault.
Christian then fielded questions from the students about everything from 3D printing to campus sustainability and transfer orientation expansion. Other discussion topics included rational tuition policies, course registration and parking on campus.
“Since becoming a resident assistant I’ve gotten more interested in and want to be more involved with programs on campus,” said Robert Rodriguez ’17 (Psychology). “I think a lot of the students I talk to feel the same way. So I really appreciate that the president comes to hear what my peers and I have to say, and gives us a chance to hear how he responds to that.”