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Alumni Are Critical to Stony Brook’s Success

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Dexter A. Bailey Jr., Senior Vice President, Stony Brook University Advancement
Dexter A. Bailey Jr., Senior Vice President, Stony Brook University Advancement

These are exciting times for us all at Stony Brook.

Alumni, friends, faculty, and staff can take great pride in the remarkable accomplishments resulting from our collective dedication to New York’s preeminent public research university.

On any given day, you’ll find Stony Brook in the headlines for groundbreaking discoveries and accolades earned by our students, faculty and staff.

In less than 60 years, Stony Brook is already widely recognized for our global impact and leadership in undergraduate and graduate STEMM education, conservation, modern art, music, translational research, and social mobility.

Today’s success is built upon those who have come before. Tomorrow’s success is dependent upon our ability to generate more revenue to lower the boundaries to access for students and to give our faculty access to labs and tools they need to innovate and take risks in the labs and in the classrooms.

But believe me: We couldn’t—and can’t— do it without alumni and friends like you. Major endowment gifts – big gifts that have a big impact—is what you typically associate with philanthropy. However, smaller and moderate gifts to the Annual Fund from alumni and friends do have a major impact on campus. For instance, last year, annual gifts to Stony Brook amounted to more than $1.9 million from 6,548 friends and alumni.

These crucial and flexible funds enable Deans, Chairs and campus leaders to invest in people and programs that otherwise have no access to funding.

Though the 18% we receive from New York State for our operating budget is generous compared to other states, providing a high quality, low cost education is an expensive endeavor in today’s economic climate. Which is why philanthropy is more important than ever.

Let me assure you that gifts from alumni to the Annual Fund mean much more than just dollars and cents. Your gifts contribute to:

  • Financial aid for talented students, keeping college accessible to all and the impact of social mobility alive. Annual fund dollars are used for student emergency tuition grants, scholarships, travel stipends, books, and in some cases room and board.
  • An enriching college experience within a dynamic academic community of people determined to make a difference. Annual Fund dollars provide funding for student organizations so that they can implement their programming and fund campus lecturers and student travel to conferences.
  • Critical renovations on campus that facilitate learning and collaboration. Annual Fund dollars have been used to reconfigure a physics classroom, outdoor seating and recreational spaces, and are currently helping to refurbish the Melville Library main lobby.
  • Academic innovation. Annual fund dollars are used to help retain and recruit faculty. And in some cases annual dollars are used to incentivize faculty to innovate in the classroom and in our laboratories.
  • A rise in our ranking and the perceived value of your degree. The alumni giving rate factor comprises 5 percent of our overall rankings by US News and World Report. In such a highly competitive environment, even modest improvements in alumni giving at Stony Brook can have a direct impact on our rankings compared to other schools.

There are truly countless examples of how annual fund dollars are at work on campus every day. Not only are those who benefit from the Annual Fund grateful for your generosity, their confidence grows because someone they don’t even know is contributing to their success.

Still, Stony Brook is behind in its ability to secure a significant number of alumni gifts. In fact, only 10 percent of our alumni give to Stony Brook. This is something we are working on and frankly must fix. Stony Brook is too good of a university not to count its alumni in large numbers among its donors and investors in its future.

No matter the size of your gift or whether you give to your college, an athletic team, the Staller Center, or to help us finish construction on the new Children’s Hospital (now, thanks to alumni Bill and Jane Knapp, offering a dollar for dollar match!) it matters.

Alumni are key to our remarkable story and will be key to our aspirational future. It’s how this great university will become a preeminent one.

Together we can change lives, we can reach higher, we can move even bolder into the future. Please join us today by renewing or making a gift to : stonybrook.edu/annualfund.

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