The Senior Toast is one of the most cherished traditions at SUNY New Paltz, as students spend some of their last undergraduate hours on campus celebrating their accomplishments to date and the journey ahead before the official Commencement festivities.
Hundreds of Class of 2023 members were on the SUB Concourse on May 18 for a beautiful afternoon, with champagne in a commemorative glass flute, making one more happy memory at the University that will always be their home away from home.
When the time came to raise glasses, President Darrell P. Wheeler offered the official toast to the Class of 2023, his first since being appointed president of the University.
“Celebrate your ancestry, embrace the challenges, but know that the most valuable thing that you have in your hands and your possession is your time,” President Wheeler said. “Use it wisely. Value the time, embrace it, and don’t regret the things from yesterday, but look to the lessons from yesterday to guide your tomorrow.”
As is tradition, this year’s Toast included the presentation of the Senior Class Gift, with which the Class of 2023 is paying forward to future generations of Hawks.
Student Association President Brianna Hicks ’23 (Black Studies) was joined by co-Senior Gift Committee members Madison Engler ’23 (Marketing) and Jeffery Yoe ’23 (Biology) as they presented a check for $5,468.57 to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation.
“Embrace the future with the wisdom of the past,” Hicks said. “As we stand united, let the memories we’ve made, and the knowledge we’ve gained, be our strength. We have the power to shape the world, to break barriers and leave a remarkable mark on society.”
Students on hand took a moment to offer their own toasts to the fruitful experiences they had at New Paltz and to what lies ahead (See more @sunynewpaltz on Tiktok).
“To my time at New Paltz, which taught me to be happy and live in the moment,” – Trishauna Wellington ‘23 (Psychology) of Bronx, New York
“To my friends, who helped me along this journey,” – Epiffani Tineo ‘23 (Communication Studies; Psychology) of Bronx, New York
“I’m toasting to the future, the unknown,” – Antonio Intartaglia ‘23 (Computer Science) of Brooklyn, New York
“The skills you have learned, the relationships you have built, and the self you have discovered during your time here will stay with you forever,” said Director of Alumni Relations Chris Brown ’85. “May the threads of orange and blue always keep you connected to the University and to one another.”
The 2023 Senior Toast was made possible by the Center for Student Engagement, Division of Student Affairs and Office of Development & Alumni Relations.