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14 Reasons to Love Stony Brook

1984 i heart stony brook

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are 14 of our favorite reasons to love SBU.

#1: Campus Traditions


For a campus that’s less than a century old, Stony Brook has built up its fair share of traditions. And whether you enjoyed the sweet treats and cultural performances at Strawberry Fest/Diversity Day, getting hyped for a new semester at Chill Fest, showcasing your academic accomplishments at the URECA Celebration, walking the Bridge to Nowhere (gone but not forgotten!), or racing red rubber ducks down the Brook at Earthstock, there’s always been something for everyone.

#2: Roth Pond Regatta (1)

The world’s biggest cardboard boat race could be the most well-known SBU tradition. Since 1989, dozens of papery crafts have sailed once a year, only at Stony Brook, only on Roth Pond, and no matter how cold the water is.

#3: Staller Steps (2)

Staller Steps. Staller Terrace. Staller Lawn. Staller Beach. A slab of cement. A blanket of grass. However you remember it, and no matter what it was made of, this vast stretch of land is known as the place to hang out, relax and — okay, maybe hold a class from time to time.

#4: Those Concerts!


From Jimi Hendrix to Kanye West, The Who to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ray Charles to the Notorious B.I.G., Janis Joplin to Diplo, Blue Oyster Cult to Bruno Mars, Stony Brook has hosted countless popular—and several truly iconic—performers over the decades.

#5: Athletics


Stony Brook Athletics supports 20 Division I varsity intercollegiate athletic programs that compete at the highest level within the NCAA, gaining local and national attention. Seawolves men’s basketball (21-4, 12-0 America East) recently extended their nation-leading winning streak to 17. And who could forget the baseball team’s College World Series run that shocked the world in 2012?

#6: School Spirit (3)

From the 50s to today, we’ve always had school spirit. Over the years, The Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band, the cheer and dance teams, and our lovable mascot, Wolfie, have helped bring the campus community together, bringing out the Seawolf spirit in all of us.

#7: Wolfstock (4)

The week of Wolfstock is the ultimate opportunity to show your SBU pride. Students, staff, alumni and friends come back to the Brook every year to celebrate this homecoming tradition. Students take part in a week’s worth of activities leading up to the big game, including Homecoming Hoopla & Carnival, the Homecoming King & Queen Creative Explosion and the Seawolves Showcase — and are joined by the rest of the campus community for the most spirited Saturday of the year.

#8: Distinguished Faculty


With 63 faculty members elected into national academies, Stony Brook University faculty are the most distinguished in the SUNY system and among the most distinguished in the world. Faculty honors include four Nobel Prizes, three Pulitzer Prizes, one Abel Prize, two Fields Medals, one Indianapolis Prize and an inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. And with SBU’s 16:1 student-faculty ratio, they’re not just experts in their fields — they’re accessible mentors, too.

#9: Student Involvement and Activism (5)

Our students are bold and passionate, and have always found ways to get involved, make a statement, and support their cause. The University currently boasts over 435 clubs and organizations — from Bhangra to Belly Dancing, Women’s Club Soccer to WUSB, Deja Vu Dance Troupe to Dumbledore’s Army, and LGBTA to Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.

#10: Stony Brook’s Global Imprint

Turkana Basin1

With more than 160,000 alumni living in 97 countries around the world—and hundreds of students, faculty and staff studying, researching and teaching abroad—Stony Brook makes a global impact. Faculty members and distinguished anthropologists Meave, Louise and Richard Leakey are finding exciting clues to early man at the Turkana Basin Institute research campus in Kenya, including a recent discovery of the earliest stone tools ever found, and a partnership between Stony Brook University, SUNY, and the South Korean government led to the creation of the first American university in Korea: SUNY Korea.

#11: The Best Ideas in Medicine


SBU is home to the best ideas in medicine, along with boundless discovery and innovation. Former Stony Brook researcher Dr. Paul Lauterbur won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for inventing MRI technology (and he did all his research during his time here at Stony Brook.) Although Lyme disease first surfaced in Lyme, Connecticut, its cause was discovered right here in Stony Brook. We’re working on a cure.

#12: The Beauty of the Four Seasons on Campus (6)

Not all college campuses offer the opportunity to experience the vividness of all four seasons. Whether you experience the mysterious Bamboo Forest in the summer, the vibrant foliage within Ashley Schiff Preserve in the autumn, the calm stillness of frozen Roth Pond in the winter, or the delicate cherry blossoms outside the Wang Center in the spring, SBU is beautiful all year long.

#13: An Education that Pays Off

Stony Brook, NY; Stony Brook University: Stony Brook University’s 55th commencement ceremony at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, 6,298 students had their degrees conferred, becoming the University’s newest alumni. During the ceremony, two of Long Island’s most prominent luminaries, Billy Joel and Charles Wang, received honorary degrees – a Doctor of Music and Doctor of Humane Letters.

Ranked one of the top 100 universities in the nation and one of the top 40 public universities by U.S. News & World Report, Stony Brook offers one of the world’s outstanding educations at a remarkable value. Consumer Reports ranked Stony Brook #5 as offering the most academic value per dollar. That’s impressive.

#14: Stony Brook Success Stories

Stony Brook graduates lead multimillion-dollar corporations, like Richard Gelfond ‘76, CEO of IMAX Jon Oringer ‘96, founder and CEO of Shutterstock, and Dawn Zier ‘86, CEO of Nutrisystem. They’re making strides in government, like NYS Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie ‘90 and New York State Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner ‘08. They’re presidents of major universities, like John Hennessy, PhD ‘75, ‘77, president of Stanford University. They’re internationally acclaimed musicians, like violinist Joanna Kaczorowska ‘08. They’re breaking boundaries through their achievements in medicine, the arts, public service, business, and academia, among other fields. And best of all, they’re committed to helping the next generation of Stony Brook students through volunteerism, mentorship and student scholarship support.

Although the campus has changed over the years (in both location and appearance), Stony Brook’s always provided resources and opportunities for students to conquer their coursework while building lifelong friendships. Whether your favorite memory involves a late night of studying in the library or a 3:00 am trip to Kelly Deli; whether you remember G Quad or Mendy, Coe Hall or Javits; whether you spent your days living in “Mudville” or walking up the Zebra path, the Stony Brook memories you loved (or loved to hate) will stick with you — for life. (7)

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(Photos: University Archives, Stony Brook University)

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