Safe Surprise Diplomas



Safe Surprise Diplomas

SUNY Ulster President, Dr. Alan P. Roberts Begins Delivery of Safe Surprise Diplomas During Virtual Commencement

SUNY Ulster President, Dr. Alan P. Roberts Delivers Safe Surprise Diplomas During Virtual Commencement

May 18, 2020 – Stone Ridge, NY – Although the SUNY Ulster campus and Ulster County community were not able to gather in-person on the Stone Ridge campus to celebrate and honor 2020 graduates, Dr. Alan P. Roberts has traveled over 460 miles throughout the region, hand-delivering diplomas to many of the over 120 graduates who RSVP’d to participate in SUNY Ulster’s 2020 virtual ceremony.

Observing all appropriate social distancing precautions and wearing a facemask, Dr. Al (as he is familiarly called) began his diploma deliveries at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and his deliveries spanned over the last several days. He announced his intention to hand deliver diplomas in his commencement welcome message during Saturday’s virtual ceremony, saying he was making good on a promise he made during orientation.

Images of Dr. Al delivering diplomas to this year’s graduates can be found on SUNY Ulster’s social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To date, the Facebook post alone has reached over 27,235 people and received over 11,535 engagements and 203 shares.

The graduating class consisted of 284 students. Of this group, 267 received associate degrees and 36 received certificates. The youngest graduate is 14, and the oldest is 59. Of the class, 33 graduated with highest honors, 80 graduated with honors, 6 students graduated with the Honors Studies program distinction, 7 students were recognized for earning a 4.0 GPA while at SUNY Ulster, the President’s Medal of Highest Honor, and 38 are members of the national honors society Phi Theta Kappa. There were also 5 students graduating as College Scholars. The first group of New Start for Women students graduated with their certificates.

After Pomp & Circumstance played by SUNY Ulster’s brass quintet from the College’s 2017 Commencement and welcome message, video and audio messages continued from Alan Lomita, Chairman of the SUNY Ulster Board of Trustees; U.S. Senator, Chuck Schumer; U.S. Congressman Antonio Delgado; New York State Senator, Jennifer Metzger; Assembly member, Kevin A. Cahill; Ulster County Executive, Patrick Ryan; Chair of the Ulster County Legislature David Donaldson; Chair of the SUNY Ulster Academic Senate, Professor Jim Hobbs; SUNY Chancellor, Dr. Kristina Johnson; Chair of the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc., John Markes; Actress, Melissa Fumero of NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Tay Fisher, Kingston High School alumnus (Class of 2004), Siena College graduate (Class of 2008 and 2018) and ten-year member of the Harlem Globetrotters and Actor & Radio Legend, Bruce Morrow “Cousin Brucie” of Sirius XM’s 60’s on 6.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Kevin Stoner spoke on the Academic Achievements of the class of 2020 followed by a presentation of the candidates through virtual slides submitted by participating graduates and voiceovers by Assistant Dean for Student Success, Wendy Beesley and Assistant Dean for Student Services, Matt Brennie. Interim V.P. of Enrollment Management, Matt Green recognized SUNY Ulster’s faculty and staff named as 2020 State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence recipients.

This year, a combined Invocation/Benediction message was given from Rev. Allison Moore, PhD. from St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in New Paltz, NY.

SUNY Ulster’s 56 th Commencement was pre-recorded and streamed for graduating students and guests on Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m. from the College’s YouTube Channel, Facebook page, and Website, where it can still be viewed.

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