When Noah P. Dorsky, the chair of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, found out he would be the May 2011 commencement speaker from Interim President Donald Christian on March 3, he said he was blown away.
“My exact words to Don were, ‘This isn’t what you want to hear from a person you’ve just asked to give a commencement address, but I’m speechless,’” said Dorsky. “I keep expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell me I’ve been punk’d.”
With his speech, Dorsky said he hopes to convey his admiration for what the students, faculty and staff of SUNY New Paltz have achieved over the last 10 years.
He said these achievements include SUNY New Paltz’s rankings on published metrics, statistics that are collected and calculated, both within and outside the SUNY system measuring how schools of higher education are doing compared to others.
“By those measures, New Paltz has been on an astonishing trajectory,” said Dorsky. “Its rankings by such mass media as U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger’s and Newsweek have been climbing steadily.”
Dorsky said he also hopes to identify the significant role of the arts in a well-rounded education by showing how creativity, innovation and knowledge are sharpened by exposure to the arts.
“And I hope to do all that while being screamingly funny and entertaining,” said Dorsky. “Or maybe just not terribly boring.”
While Dorsky is a philanthropic arm of SUNY New Paltz, he also serves on the Advisory Board of the Dorsky Museum along with his siblings Karen and David Dorsky. He said that he has also been involved in various academic and administrative searches for the college.
Dorsky said that neither he nor anyone else in his family is an alum of SUNY New Paltz. The long relationship of support from the Dorsky family to the College Art Gallery began in the early ‘80s when his father, Samuel Dorsky, met with Neil C. Trager, former director of SUNY New Paltz’s College Art Gallery. His personal relationship with Trager resulted in the creation of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in 2001, seven years after his death in 1994, Dorsky said.
Dorsky said he is very connected with SUNY New Paltz.
“My car has one of those speech recognition Bluetooth deals, and I’m pretty sure if I got in and said ‘New Paltz,’ it would drive me here by myself,” said Dorsky.
On the SUNY New Paltz website, Christian said that the Dorsky museum is a cultural resource in the New Paltz region and the museum attracts thousands of visitors from on and off campus each year.
“We thought it was quite fitting that Noah Dorsky speak at commencement on the museums 10th anniversay,” said Christian, as quoted on the SUNY New Paltz website.
According to SUNY New Paltz’s website, Dorsky will give his speech to more than 1,600 students at the commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22 on the Old Main Quad.
“I am honored beyond my ability to express it,” said Dorsky.