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Senior Class Legacy Blog: Megan Cooney ’17

Why do I give back to Stony Brook?

Sitting here in a coffee shop only a couple weeks away from graduation, that’s the question I’m trying to craft a concise answer to, and truthfully, it’s proving a little harder than expected. For me, there is no single reason; instead, a jumbled list as long and diverse as the experiences I’ve had at Stony Brook exists in my brain. So, what are those reasons? Let me name a few.

Reason one. Throughout my time at Stony Brook, I have been the grateful recipient of two scholarships that were made possible in part through the generous donations of alumni. As an out-of-state student with two other siblings currently in college, it has been because of these scholarships that attending Stony Brook was even a possibility for me. Moving more than halfway across the country has been an experience that has been equal parts challenging and rewarding, and it is one that has shaped me into the person I am today. The opportunities that I have had during my time on Long Island have allowed me to grow as a student, as an athlete, and as a person, and I want to help make sure that future students continue to have access to these as well, regardless of where they are coming to Stony Brook from.

Reason two. Outside of the classroom, I’m a proud member of the Stony Brook Cross Country and Track & Field teams, the treasurer of Alternative Spring Break Outreach, a University Scholar and a member of NRHH. Being a part of these teams and these organizations have given me some of my favorite memories as a Stony Brook student, and it has been through these experiences that I have been lucky to meet some of the most inspiring and influential people in my life. These are things that I will carry with me long after graduation, and I want to ensure that these programs continue to grow and impact others similarly in the future. Giving back helps.

Reason three. While the ways that I have been involved on campus as a student at Stony Brook hold a special place in my heart, they are not the same as what every other student here values. It’s one of the reasons that my time at Stony Brook has been so positive: the diversity of the interests, activities, and experiences of all the students who attend is something incredible, and it is something to promote. As I work towards becoming an alum (only a few more weeks!), that’s something I will take as especially valuable and different from many other schools, and it is something I again want to help continue in the future.

These are just some of my reasons for giving back to Stony Brook, and while my own experiences might not be remotely similar to those of others, I hope that they reminded you of some of your favorite experiences and memories as a Seawolf and what you have valued about your time at Stony Brook.

— Megan Cooney ’17

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