Commencement ceremonies planned to safely celebrate our newest alumni

SUNY New Paltz will hold a series of smaller, shorter, in-person Commencement ceremonies for our 2021 graduates on May 14-16 and 2020 graduates on May 22-23. We are responding to student interest in an in-person experience to mark this milestone in their lives and recognize their hard-earned achievements.

To hold in-person ceremonies, we are unable to invite any guests to attend Commencement this year. We will livestream all ceremonies so that alumni, friends and family members can hear their graduate’s name called, watch them cross the stage and receive their diploma cover from the comfort and safety of home. The live streams will remain online and can be viewed on demand for one year after the event.

Other health and safety policies, such as masking and social distancing, will be in place. Plans are subject to change based on COVID-19 numbers and public health guidance.

“We have tried to balance health and safety concerns with providing our graduates with the celebration that they want and deserve,” said President Donald. P. Christian. “Our planning includes low-density, reduced-gathering-size, and streamlined outdoor ceremonies on campus, consistent with current state guidance on large event gatherings, along with a contingency plan for a strictly virtual ceremony if COVID-19 conditions demand.”

Ceremonies will occur on the Old Main Quad, rain-or-shine on consecutive weekends. The first weekend (May 14-16, as originally scheduled in the Academic Calendar) will be a 2021 Commencement for May and August 2021 candidates, and December 2020 and January 2021 graduates.

The second weekend (May 22-23) will be for our December 2019, January 2020, May 2020 and August 2020 graduates who were unable to participate in an in-person ceremony last year due to the pandemic.

More details about our 2021 Commencement plans will be posted at

Read the full story here: “Commencement 2021 update: We are planning a series of smaller in-person ceremonies; Plans are subject to change based on COVID-19 numbers and public health guidance.”