Welcome, summer! Friends, colleagues and a new president gather at the annual BBQ

SUNY New Paltz’s annual Faculty & Staff Appreciation Picnic and BBQ returned on Tuesday, May 24, as hundreds of colleagues came out to Parker Quad to enjoy some good food and good company on a comfortable spring day.

[Use this link to view the full photo gallery from this year’s BBQ]

The event, traditionally held after Commencement each year, allows time to reflect on the resilience of New Paltz’s faculty and staff, who have worked tirelessly to support students during an unprecedented period in the College’s history.

“We should all take pride in our individual and collective accomplishments this year, especially through pandemic challenges that have continued to be with us,” said President Donald P. Christian. “I want to express my deep gratitude to the campus community for supporting each other and our students.”

The College was fortunate to host a special guest at this year’s BBQ: Incoming President Darrell P. Wheeler, mingling with future colleagues for the first time since his appointment as the ninth president of SUNY New Paltz.


During a brief speaking program, President Christian literally “passed the baton” – a 3D printed piece manufactured on campus by the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center – to his successor.

“I think many of you share this view that he’s an exceptional choice for the presidency and the right person to lead this campus,” President Christian said. “I will do everything I can to help ensure his success as president as I pass the leadership baton to him.”

Incoming President Wheeler’s first day in his new role will be July 18, 2022.

The picnic also featured the presentation of Presidential Recognition Awards for members of the Classified Staff. Read more here about this year’s Presidential Recognition Award winners.


Also on hand at the 2022 BBQ were Donovan Howard (left), husband of Incoming President Wheeler, and Zulaika Rodriguez (second from right), assistant vice chancellor for presidential recruitment, evaluation and development at SUNY, who assisted the campus with the presidential search. Many members of the College’s Presidential Search Committee were in attendance as well.


The All Faculty and Staff Appreciation Picnic & BBQ is sponsored by the Office of the President and organized by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations.