Husband and Wife Team of Esteemed Medical Researcher and Educator and Art Historian Instrumental in Establishment of Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center Endowment Feted for 40+ Years of Service to the University
Stony Brook Foundation is honoring pioneering former faculty member Dr. Barry Coller Hon.’03 and art historian/educator Bobbi Coller, PhD , at its annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala , Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers. This year’s celebration will recognize the Collers for their remarkable 43 years of service to Stony Brook and their myriad career accomplishments in the fields of education, medical research and the arts.
Since its inception in 2000, the Stony Brook Foundation’s Stars of Stony Brook Gala has raised more than $37 million to support student scholarships and $22 million for academic programs of excellence. Last year’s Gala, honoring Simons Foundation President Marilyn Hawrys Simons ,’74,’84, raised $3.2 million for student scholarships.
The Collers will join a distinguished roster of scholars, politicians, celebrities, and luminaries who have been honored at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala. Past honorees include Former Vice President Joseph Biden, Nobel Laureate CN Yang; actors Julie Andrews, Alan Alda, Jane Fonda and Ed Harris ; Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons ; IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond ’76 and award-winning conservationists Patricia Wright and Richard Leakey.
“Barry and Bobbi are the truest and most noble definition of a ‘power couple,’ begins Stony Brook Foundation Chair Richard Gelfond ’76. “They are individuals who have both excelled mightily in their chosen fields, and bettered the lives of so many as both educators and financial benefactors to initiatives and scholarships championed by the Stony Brook Foundation.”
Gelfond continues: “Without a doubt, the Collers have played a central role in the ascendancy of Stony Brook to its place as New York’s top public research university. It gives me great pride to announce them as this year’s honorees, and I look forward to celebrating with them and our entire Stony Brook family on March 11 at Pier Sixty.”
Arriving at the University in 1976, just five years after the School of Medicine was founded, and four years before Stony Brook University Hospital opened, Dr. Barry Coller’s expertise as a hematologist was important in building the reputation of the University’s medical school and hospital. Most importantly, his landmark research at Stony Brook led to the development of the drug abciximab (best known commercially as ReoPro ), which has been used to treat millions of patients with cardiovascular disease.
Currently the David Rockefeller Professor of Medicine, head, Allen and Frances Adler Laboratory of Blood and Vascular Biology; Physician-In-Chief of the Rockefeller University Hospital, and Vice President for Medical Affairs at The Rockefeller University, Dr. Barry Coller has also served on the Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees for more than 20 years.
Dr. Bobbi Coller has served on the Advisory Board of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center since 1998 and has chaired the Board since 2006. This internationally renowned former home and studio of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner is managed by the Stony Brook Foundation.
As chairwoman of the Advisory Board, Dr. Coller helped secure the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center’s endowment, ensuring that the Center’s finances will remain strong for the future. An art historian, independent curator and educator, she has brought her singular vision, energy, and drive to the Pollock-Krasner House – a National Historic Landmark located in Springs, NY – enabling it to fulfill its mission: to preserve and interpret Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner’s living and working environment, promote scholarship, and encourage creativity.
Dr. Coller has curated more than 30 exhibitions at esteemed institutions, including the Smithsonian Institutions’ National Portrait Gallery. She curated two well-received exhibitions for the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center: “The Persistence of Pollock” and “Pollock’s Champions.” She currently serves on the Education Committee of the Guggenheim Museum and as Director and Curator of the OZ Gallery in New York City, and previously served on the advisory council of Stony Brook’s Staller Center for the Arts as well as an adjunct professor at C.W. Post, Long Island University and guest lecturer at Hofstra University and Stony Brook University.
Together the Collers created and co-teach “The Pulse of Art: Connections Between the History of Art and the History of Medicine.” This unique course, which they teach to medical students and physicians at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, harnesses the power of significant works of art to increase their observation skills and empathic responses to patients, as well as their understanding of the sweep of medical history.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit stonybrook.edu/gala.
21st Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala details:
WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2020
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, New York City
Cocktails 6:30 pm / Dinner 7:30 pm – Business attire