The State University of New York at New Paltz is an exciting blend of tradition and vision. At its educational core is the ever-present belief in the importance of a liberal arts education. This served as the guiding principle at the time the university was founded, in 1828, and continues to aid in the preparation of students for transition into the global community today. Equally important is the commitment to the growth of the student -intellectually, culturally, and socially. Throughout its history, New Paltz has led the way in the development of significant innovations, not the least of which has been its dedication to providing an international focus to all areas of its curriculum.

Between the founding of this school and the establishment of the present 257-acre campus of SUNY New Paltz, many historic changes took place.

1828 - School for teaching of classics started

1833 - The New Paltz Academy established

1885 - State normal school established

1886 - Normal school opened

1925 - Changed from offering a two-year degree to a three-year degree

1942 - Normal school becomes State Teachers College at New Paltz;
           authorized to grant the baccalaureate degree

1947 - Graduate courses leading to a master’s degree introduced

1948 - State University of New York created by legislative action;
           The College at New Paltz joins 30 other institutions of higher learning

1951 - New Paltz adds Art Education degree to its program

1959 - College’s name changed to College of Education

1960 - Authorization of liberal arts program leading to Bachelor of Arts degree granted

1961 - College renamed State University of New York College of Arts and Science at New Paltz

1994 - College renamed State University of New York at New Paltz

Today, SUNY New Paltz has many more programs, facilities, and students than the founders of the classics school could have foreseen in 1828. What has not changed in the course of the history of higher education at SUNY New Paltz is a strong commitment to the principle of excellence in teaching and learning.