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$2.2 million raised for Scholarships at the 16th Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala

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Legendary actress Jane Fonda honored for her work with Stony Brook University’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities

Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., left, with honoree Jane Fonda and Michael Kimmel, Director of Stony Brook’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities.
Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., left, with honoree Jane Fonda and Michael Kimmel, Director of Stony Brook’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities.

More than $2.2 million was raised to support scholarships at the 16th annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala on Wednesday, April 22. The gala, held at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, honored legendary actress and activist Jane Fonda for her support as a member of the Board of Directors of Stony Brook University’s Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities (CSMM). The event also marked the 50th anniversary of the Stony Brook Foundation.

Jane Fonda and President Stanley
Jane Fonda and President Stanley

Fonda, a two-time Academy Award winner, has long been known for her advocacy on environmental issues, peace and the empowerment of women and girls. She has served on the CSMM Board of Directors since the program’s inception in 2013, and her participation with the organization, which is committed to fostering a world in which everyone reaches their full potential, has helped elevate it in the global discussion of gender equality.

“We’re not going to make it unless women and men work together for gender equality,” Fonda told the room of more than 600 people. “A lot of people don’t realize that the thing that’s holding women back and keeping them from being all that they can be is also damaging men.”

Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, said proceeds from the gala will benefit dozens of students through scholarships and educational programs at the University.

“Our students are a great source of pride at Stony Brook,” he said. “They represent the leaders of tomorrow and are helping to advance our core mission of research, education, and discovery.”

Left to right: Ashwin Kelkar ’16, Ariel Yang ’15, Morgan DiCarlo ’16, President Stanley, Jane Fonda, Ruchi Shah ’16, Brian Ralph ’15 and Lukas Vasadi ’16.
Left to right: Ashwin Kelkar ’16, Ariel Yang ’15, Morgan DiCarlo ’16, President Stanley, Jane Fonda, Ruchi Shah ’16, Brian Ralph ’15 and Lukas Vasadi ’16.

Among the guests at the gala were: David E. Acker , inventor of devices for cardiac surgery; Carl Bernstein, journalist; Richard Gelfond, CEO of IMAX; Don Laventhall, producer; Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association; Hannah Pakula, author; James H. Simons, chairman emeritus of the Stony Brook Foundation and former chair of Stony Brook’s Department of Mathematics; Cary F. Staller, president of Staller Associates Inc.; and, Bruce Stillman, president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Richard L. Gelfond, the CEO of IMAX and chairman of the Stony Brook Foundation, who graduated from the University in 1976, praised his alma mater. “Without Stony Brook University, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said.

Six high-achieving students representing the many who have benefited from Stony Brook Foundation scholarships were highlighted during the evening:

  • Morgan DiCarlo, Class of ’16, majoring in Civil Engineering, of Thiells, New York
  • Ashwin Kelkar, Class of ’16, majoring in Biochemistry, of Syosset, New York
  • Brian Ralph, Class of ’15, majoring in Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics, of Smithtown, New York
  • Ruchi Shah, Class of ’16, majoring in Biology, of Ronkonkoma, New York
  • Lukas Vasadi, Class of ’16, majoring in Biomedical Engineering, of Washingtonville, New York
  • Ariel Yang, Class of ’15, majoring in Biomedical Engineering, of Stony Brook, New York
Stony Brook CIO Cole Camplese grabs a selfie with President Stanley and students.
Stony Brook CIO Cole Camplese grabs a selfie with President Stanley and students.

In its 16-year history, the Stars of Stony Brook Gala has raised more than $39 million to support student scholarships and various hands-on research programs. The gala has been able to bring together stars from Hollywood, the arts and academia, including previous honorees Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Ed Harris and Dr. Patricia C. Wright.

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