Annual scholarship reception celebrates students and donors during the Inauguration of President Wheeler

SUNY New Paltz Foundation scholarship recipients and their guests met with donors, alumni, faculty and Foundation Board members at the 2023 Annual Scholarship Reception on April 19, a celebration of the University’s continued philanthropic investment in student success.

Each year, the scholarship reception recognizes the gifts offered to students through the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. During the 2022-23 academic year alone, the Foundation generated support amounting to more than $883,000 for 412 students.

This year’s event coincided with the Inauguration of President Darrell P. Wheeler, himself a champion for student advancement. Since Wheeler’s appointment as President of the University last summer, he initiated the Presidential Fund for Innovation in Public Higher Education with his own $25,000 pledge. The goal of the Fund is to celebrate sustained creative commitment and innovative thinking and activities at SUNY New Paltz.

“Your gifts ensure that the most talented students thrive here,” said Wheeler to the generous donors in the audience. “They make sure that we can bring a diverse student body of race, culture, class and ideas. You assist these students in advancing their academic dreams. What you do will live well beyond tonight’s celebration.”


Remarks were also given by and alumnus and recipient of the Legislative Gazette Knight Foundation Scholarship Austin Jefferson ’22 (Digital Media Production), now a reporter for the Daily Freeman, and Honors Program Director and Digital Media and Journalism Professor Pat Sullivan.

Sullivan works tirelessly each year with the Foundation to provide enriching opportunities for academically talented students of all backgrounds.

“We have a true spirit of collaboration on campus,” said Sullivan. “Scholarships are critical in making it possible to support our mission as a public institution to make higher education available to a diverse group of deserving students.”

As a student, Jefferson had the opportunity to intern with the Legislative Gazette, an Albany-based nonprofit news outlet published as an educational project under the auspices of New Paltz’s Department of Digital Media and Journalism, thanks to a Knight Foundation scholarship and additional funding from last year’s matching gift challenge from the Jon Ben Snow Foundation.

“When I heard about this internship opportunity, I wasn’t sure if I could take it, but the funding allowed me to come to Albany,” he said. “Within a year, I figured out how I want to spend my career. The Gazette was so important to me in my life.”

Please visit The SUNY New Paltz Foundation online to learn more about the many ways donors can impact the lives of New Paltz students.