Raising a glass to the senior class at the 2019 Senior Toast

Members of the Class of 2019 packed onto the McKenna Theatre patio on Thursday, May 16, to spend a few of their final moments as undergraduates with champagne in hand and friends at their side.

“To all that you have brought to us during your years here, and all that you are taking with you; to the faculty and staff who have shown such commitment to your education; and to your future, with wishes for every success and happiness. May your contributions make the world a better place. Congratulations!” – President Donald P. Christian


The hundreds of students at the Senior Toast received a commemorative glass flute and single orange rose – both symbols of  achievement and optimism for the future – in a prelude to the weekend’s Commencement rites.

“Orange is a color of warmth, unlimited energy and enthusiasm. When new ventures are on the horizon, the orange rose celebrates the journey of all new beginnings. The orange rose also indicates pride – when you are honored to be associated with someone, and believe that person deserves to be lauded, the orange rose says, ‘I am so proud of you.’” – Stephanie Blaisdell, vice president for student affairs


The Toast also includes the presentation of the Senior Class Gift, an effort by each graduating class to raise funds to benefit future generations of New Paltz students. The Class of 2019, represented by Senior Gift Committee chair Kevin Burns ’19 (Communication Studies), presented a check totaling more than $8,500, making it the largest Senior Gift in SUNY New Paltz history.

“I want to thank every single person who donated, whether it was $1 or $20.19. Although we may be leaving our Hawks’ nest soon, New Paltz will always be our home away from home. I hope you never forget the memories made and friendships created here.” – Kevin Burns ’19


The Senior Toast is a favorite tradition at the end of the academic year at SUNY New Paltz – a joyous opportunity for students to reflect on friendships made and lessons learned at their soon-to-be alma mater.

The Senior Toast is made possible through the sponsorship of Campus Auxiliary Services and the Division of Student Affairs.