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Lily McNair MA ’83, PhD ’87 to be Honored with Distinguished Alumni Award

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Lily mcnair headshotSTONY BROOK, N.Y., MARCH 22, 2019 – Dr. Lily D. McNair (MA ’83, PhD ‘87) has been selected to receive the Stony Brook University Distinguished Alumni Award, and will be honored by the Alumni Association on May 18, 2019, in a private ceremony in northern New Jersey.  McNair is the eighth President of Tuskegee University and the first woman to hold this position in the institution’s 137-year history.

Before becoming President of Tuskegee, McNair held senior roles at Wagner College, Spelman College and the University of Georgia, where she became the first African-American woman to obtain tenure and promotion in the Department of Psychology.

“Dr. McNair’s remarkable career is a powerful testament to the tremendous possibilities that a Stony Brook degree affords,” said Stony Brook President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “We proudly applaud President McNair’s accomplishments and congratulate Tuskegee University in appointing a leader who brings perspective, vision and momentum to this important role.”

A clinical psychologist by training, McNair has performed research focused on the development and evaluation of community-based interventions targeting substance use and early sexual behavior in African American Youth. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

McNair will join a notable roster of Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients including: esteemed philanthropist Dr. Marilyn Simons ’74 ’84, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee David Walt ’79, Metropolitan Opera Singer Christine Goerke ’94, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Carl E. Heastie ’90, and CEO of IMAX, Rich Gelfond ‘76.

“I am honored to award Dr. Lily D. McNair our prestigious 2019 Stony Brook University Distinguished Alumni Award,” said SBAA Board President, Bedel Saget. “Her stellar career in education and clinical psychology reflects the highest values embraced and promoted by our University and Alumni Association.”

Since its inception in 1983, the Distinguished Alumni Award has recognized and paid tribute to outstanding alumni as the highest and most prestigious honor awarded by the Stony Brook University Alumni Association (SBAA).

“It means so much to be recognized by Stony Brook University, a place that I have always seen as a superior academic institution,” said Dr. McNair. “My years at Stony Brook have helped me to become the person that I am today.”

For more information on Lily McNair and the Distinguished Alumni Award, please visit

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