The formal inauguration of Purchase College’s sixth president has been scheduled for Oct. 28.
Dr. Milagros (Milly) Peña was selected to be the president at SUNY Purchase last May and has been serving in the position since then.
Longtime President Thomas Schwarz retired in 2019 and Dennis Craig served as interim president. Peña’s formal inauguration ceremony was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which made large gatherings inappropriate.
The inaugural event is scheduled to include an academic processional from the Performing Arts Center through the Main Plaza to the Neuberger Museum of Art, where the ceremony will take place. The theme of the event will be “Purchase College and the Sustainable Future: People, Place, and Purpose.”
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. Special guests are to include Purchase College alumni, elected officials, SUNY Chancellor James Malatras, members of the SUNY Board of Trustees, college presidents from the SUNY system and the surrounding area and Purchase students, faculty and leadership.
Purchase College notes that Peña is the first Latina president in the SUNY system. She came to Purchase from the University of California, Riverside, where she was dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Peña spent 16 years at the University of Florida where she taught, directed the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research and became the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Peña is the daughter of Dominican immigrants and was the first in her family to graduate from college. She received her Ph.D. and master’s degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Peña also earned degrees from Union Theological Seminary in New York and Iona College.
Purchase College has planned various programs, events, lectures and hands-on opportunities for community engagement related to the sustainable future theme and Peña’s vision of Purchase’s future in the days following the inauguration