For Immediate Release—Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

New York State Lt. Governor David A. Paterson to Deliver Address at SUNY Geneseo's 141st Commencement

GENESEO, N.Y.—New York State Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson will deliver the commencement address at the State University of New York at Geneseo's 141st ceremony Saturday, May 12.

Paterson, elected lieutenant governor in November 2006 on the Democratic ticket with Gov. Eliot Spitzer, is known for demanding and achieving change at every level, not simply by what he stands for but by who he is.

Elected to represent Harlem in the state Senate in 1985, Paterson was voted by his peers to serve as minority leader of the Senate in 2002, becoming the first non-white legislative leader in New York's history. In 2004, in Boston, he became the first visually impaired person to address a Democratic National Convention. And in 2006, Paterson made history again with his election as New York's first African-American lieutenant governor.

Geneseo's commencement will be held at 10 a.m. on the site of the "B" parking lot on campus, adjacent to South Hall, just off of Park Street/College Drive between Main Street and Route 63. Approximately 1,170 undergraduates will receive their diplomas during the exercises, and approximately 26 graduate students will receive master's degrees.

As the Senate minority leader, Paterson led the charge on several crucial issues for New York's future, proposing legislation for a $1 billion voter-approved stem cell research initiative, demanding a statewide alternative energy strategy, insisting on strong action to fight domestic violence and serving as the primary champion for minority- and women-owned businesses in New York. As a result, Spitzer asked Paterson to continue to lead the state on these issues, enlisting him to run on his ticket for lieutenant governor.

Paterson, who is legally blind, is a nationally recognized advocate for the visually and physically impaired. A graduate of Columbia University and Hofstra Law School, he also serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia's School for International and Public Affairs. Paterson lives in Harlem with his wife, Michelle, and their two children, Ashley and Alex. He is the son of Basil Paterson, the first non-white secretary of state of New York and the first African-American vice-chair of the national Democratic Party.

Geneseo's commencement will be broadcast live on the Web at


NOTE TO MEDIA: Media passes are required for admittance to the grandstand. To obtain a pass, call (585) 245-5516.