Honoring the Hawks: Global Orange and Blue Day

People from all across the world showed off their New Paltz pride during the second annual Global Orange and Blue Day.

On Friday, Nov. 20, students past and present as well as parents, faculty and staff sported the New Paltz Hawks colors of orange and blue in honor of this international day, celebrated on and off campus.

Alumni Relations Officer Steven Posada said that this event was created to celebrate the pride within the SUNY New Paltz community and everyone affiliated with the college.

This year, a main event of Global Orange and Blue Day was the pre-theater reception for the Mainstage production of “Julius Caesar.” There were also organized “meetups” in Atlanta, Buffalo, as well as the Syracuse area, where those associated with New Paltz could celebrate Global Orange and Blue Day together.

But this day is primarily a social media event, Posada said. People not only in New Paltz, but either living, working or studying abroad in other places such as China, Japan, Spain, France and other countries have posted their prideful pictures on social media such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“We made this event as something that would bring everyone together. We used the word ‘global’ because we wanted to be inclusive to everyone despite where you are,” he said. “This event is as simple as taking a quick picture with your colors and sharing your favorite New Paltz memory.”

Emily Sarra, a fourth-year communications disorders major, student ambassador and admissions assistant, participated in Global Orange and Blue Day by sporting an orange cardigan and a blue shirt. She said that her boss in the admissions department got her involved in this event last year when it was first piloted.

“I have a lot of school spirit,” Sarra said. “That’s why I decided to wear orange and blue to match my best friend so we could put a picture on social media and try to get other people to do it.”

Sarra also feels that this event is important to the New Paltz campus as well as the SUNY New Paltz community at large.

“[Participating in] Global Orange and Blue Day shows that you are passionate about where you go to school and that you care about showing the school colors and the spirit for the place where you are living and learning every day,” she said.

Samantha Skillman, marketing assistant for the Center for International Programs (CIP) at SUNY New Paltz, said that this day is promoted on social media by using hashtags such as #npsocial, #NPGOAB, #npalumni and #newpaltzabroad.

Skillman believes that Global Orange and Blue Day shows that New Paltz values its students, faculty and all those affiliated with the school.

It is also a day where those associated with New Paltz can show their pride for it being a top SUNY school and for it being a highly recognized public institution with a high national ranking. According to the U.S. News and World Report, SUNY New Paltz ranks at No. 4 for public regional universities in the North for 2016.

“This day is a reflection of the environment we’ve made here for students, faculty and staff,” Skillman said. “It’s important to come together and realize we’re not only a place that offers education, but that we are a holistic institution that nurtures both academic and personal progress.”

Skillman herself was an abroad student from Sydney, Australia in 2009. She loved SUNY New Paltz so much that she decided to come back and create a life for herself 9,000 miles away from home.

“I’m proud to say that I am a New Paltz alum and that I work here,” she said. “I never thought I’d live here, and I am very thankful for New Paltz.”

According to Posada, New Paltz has 64,000 alumni alone. This does not include those who have either worked at or for the college, current students or parents of students.

“We have a really immense network,” he said. “The goal is to promote and provide a day of pride and show the capacity that the New Paltz community has.”

This story first appeared in The New Paltz Oracle on December 3, 2015.

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