SUNY New Paltz will welcome Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl ’95 (International Relations), an internationally recognized leader in the technology and entertainment industries, to celebrate with the graduating Class of 2023 at the Sunday Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 21.
Kyncl will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree, the highest form of recognition offered by the State University of New York and will also provide the Commencement Address at the Sunday ceremony.
“After arriving here from the Czech Republic, SUNY New Paltz opened up a whole new world for me, helping me build strong intellectual, social, professional, and personal foundations, including meeting my wife,” Kyncl said. “As immigrants, we’re both deeply thankful for the experiences that this great school gave us. Together, Luz and I are committed to helping the next generation of students access the same opportunities. I’m grateful to receive this honor and look forward to returning to this wonderful institution to celebrate with the Class of ’23.”
Robert Kyncl assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer at Warner Music Group in January 2023. The global music group encompasses well-known record labels such as Atlantic, Warner Records, Elektra and Parlophone, as well as music publishing company Warner Chappell Music.
He previously served for more than a decade as Chief Business Officer at YouTube, where he played a central role in defining the company’s strategy, leading its content and operations, driving the development and expansion of its creator, artist and media company ecosystem, and helping launch its paid subscription services.
Kyncl met his wife, psychotherapist Luz Avila Kyncl ’96 (Psychology), at SUNY New Paltz and together they have shown a strong commitment to creating opportunity for students at their alma mater, with particular focus on demographics that have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.
They established the Robert Kyncl ’95 and Luz Avila Kyncl ’96 Computer Science & Engineering Scholarship Fund in 2018, and in 2023 they renewed their pledge to the University for an additional five years. The Fund offsets tuition costs for students, especially women and minorities, seeking careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and related industries.
The program’s success has also led to the creation of the University’s Kyncl Scholars, a group of students who, having been supported by the Fund, have achieved their educational goals and are building influential careers in their chosen fields.
Beyond their philanthropic support, the Kyncls have donated time and energy to engaging directly with SUNY New Paltz students on campus. Among other activities, Robert gave an insightful talk on technology, media and culture as the spring 2016 Distinguished Speaker, and Luz has served as a featured presenter at the Women’s Leadership Summit and at the Educational Opportunity Program Conference. Together, Luz and Robert run the Kyncl Family Foundation, focused on education in traditionally underrepresented communities.
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/.