On May 20, 2023, SUNY New Paltz will welcome distinguished alumnus, the Hon. Kevin R. Bryant ’93 (Political Science), Justice of the New York State Supreme Court in the Third Judicial District of New York, to deliver the Commencement Address at our Saturday Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony.
Justice Bryant has been an accomplished attorney with more than 20 years of experience seeking sound and balanced justice for clients regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances.
Justice Bryant was sworn in as a New York State Supreme Court Justice on Jan. 1, 2022. His accension to the bench is historic in that he is the first African American male to be elected in the entire Third Judicial Department of New York, which is comprised of 28 counties.
He will return to his alma mater this year to celebrate with graduating students from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the largest of SUNY New Paltz’s five academic schools.
“I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater as the Commencement Speaker 30 years later,” said Justice Bryant. “I look forward to assuring the Class of 2023 that they are more than prepared to succeed in the next chapter of their lives.”
Throughout his career, Justice Bryant has established a superb record of service and success practicing law in the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years. From 2016 through his election to the bench, he served as Corporation Counsel for the City of Kingston, where he acted as the primary legal advisor to the Mayor, the Common Council and all city commissions and boards. His office also represented the Kingston Housing Authority for a two-year period. While maintaining his private practice, Justice Bryant has represented litigants in civil and criminal matters. He has also served as a special prosecutor for six local municipalities and has worked for both the Ulster County District Attorney and the Public Defender’s offices.
Justice Bryant’s determination to make a difference in his community has been a personal goal throughout his life. He attended Ulster Community College and SUNY New Paltz. While attending New Paltz, he also worked full time with troubled youth at the St. Cabrini Home in West Park, where he was quickly promoted to a supervisory position. Through this work, Justice Bryant became a mentor to many of the young residents who sought his guidance as they sorted through numerous personal issues. Justice Bryant has also served on the boards of the Kingston Boys and Girls Club and the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley.
Justice Bryant received his law degree from Albany Law School in 1998. Between the time he received his degree from SUNY New Paltz and his attendance at law school, he married Elena Feliciano and they welcomed two children, Elisia and Kevin, Jr. into their family. Today they are proud grandparents to their granddaughters, Charlie and Violet.
About Commencement 2023 at SUNY New Paltz
This year’s Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, 2023, on the Old Main Quad on the SUNY New Paltz campus. Both ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m.
The Saturday Ceremony honors graduates of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the Sunday Ceremony honors graduates of the School of Business, School of Education, School of Fine & Performing Arts and School of Science & Engineering.
The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 19, at 6 p.m., also on the Old Main Quad.
More information at https://www.newpaltz.edu/commencement/.