Your Guide to the Hudson Valley’s College Commencements

This graduation season, colleges and universities all over the Hudson Valley will host an array of commencement speakers that includes actresses and scientists.

Since the Hudson Valley is home to a number of higher learning institutions, graduation season is an exciting time for many locals. As colleges and universities from Albany to Westchester celebrate their students, many alumni and renowned figures will be in attendance at graduation ceremonies to wish the graduates luck on their post-degree endeavors. From award-winning actresses to the current president of the United States, these are the Valley’s 2024 commencement speakers.

Bard College

May 25, 3 p.m.


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At Bard College’s 164th commencement ceremony, renowned earth scientist Naomi Oreskes will deliver the commencement address. Currently, Oreskes is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University.

The College of Saint Rose

May 11, 10 a.m.

As the college’s last commencement ceremony before it closes, May 11 at The College of Saint Rose is sure to be an emotional day for many. This year, the commencement speaker is Joan Horgan, the Director of Spiritual Life at the school. As a much-admired member of the staff at Saint Rose, Horgan has been an integral part of the campus for 30 years.

Dutchess Community College

May 17, 4 p.m.

The class of 2024 will celebrate their graduation from Dutchess Community College on May 17 at the Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center (formerly the Mid-Hudson Civic Center) in Poughkeepsie.

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Marist College

May 18, 11 a.m.


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Each year, Marist College hosts a scenic commencement ceremony in front of the Hudson River. For 2024, celebrated sports columnist Christine Brennan will address the graduating class. Throughout her career, Brennan has broken barriers as a woman in sports writing and served as the inaugural president of the Association for Women in Sports Media.

Mount Saint Mary College

May 18, 10 a.m.

An alumnus of the college from 2001, Daniel J. Maughan will be the commencement speaker at Mount Saint Mary College’s 2024 ceremony. Maughan is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall.

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

May 18, 8:30 a.m.


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This year, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute celebrates its bicentennial graduating class. America’s oldest technological research university, RPI welcomes Reid Wiseman from the class of 1997 to speak at the commencement ceremony. Wiseman is a decorated naval aviator, test pilot, and commander of the Artemis II mission.

Rockland Community College

May 20, 11 a.m.

Rockland Community College, a State University of New York, will host Dr. Alfredo Medina Jr. as the 2024 commencement speaker. Dr. Medina is the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and College Diversity Officer at Bennington College in Vermont.

SUNY New Paltz

New Paltz
May 18 & 19

At SUNY New Paltz’s undergraduate commencement ceremony, distinguished alumna Jessica Faieta from the class of 1985 will deliver the address. Along with her speech, Faieta will be awarded with an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree – the highest form of recognition offered by the State University of New York.

SUNY Ulster

Stone Ridge
May 18, 10 a.m.

At its annual commencement ceremony on May 18, SUNY Ulster looks forward to celebrating the accomplishments of its students at the universities Louis Berger Athletic Fields.

United States Military Academy at West Point

West Point
May 25

Following an address by Vice President Kamala Harris in 2023, the prestigious United States Military Academy welcomes President Joe Biden to be the commencement speaker at this year’s ceremony. This will be Biden’s third commencement address at the academy, but his first as President of the United States.

University at Albany

May 9-12 

The university’s president will officiate the 2024 commencement ceremony at the State University of New York at Albany. Although stage-crossing ceremonies will take place over the course of four days, the university-wide undergraduate ceremony will be at 11 a.m. on May 11.

Vassar College

May 19, 10 a.m.


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For the 160th commencement ceremony at Vassar College, acclaimed British actress and filmmaker Emily Mortimer will deliver the address to the class of 2024. Known for her roles in productions like The Newsroom and Lovely and Amazing, Mortimer is currently working on a project with Vassar alumnus Noah Baumbach.

Looking for Westchester County’s college commencement speakers? Head to for the full guide.

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