Stony Brook staff member Paul Siegel was raised in a bookish family, with many ties to the university. His father Ron Siegel was an inveterate reader with a private library that encompassed subjects from medieval history, technology, poetry, American, military, and world history, and the natural and physical sciences. He was especially proud of his collection of atlases and a full set of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Ron Siegel came to work at Stony Brook early in 1966 and during his tenure he served in a number of roles. He was assistant to the executive vice president, director of Facilities and Operations, director of the University Police Department and at his passing he held the post of assistant vice president for Finance and Business. Paul’s mother Dorothy was the school librarian for the Clinton Avenue Elementary School in neighboring Port Jefferson Station.
So as a fitting tribute to their father and mother’s love for books and Stony Brook, Paul and his siblings created the Dorothy J. and Ronald W. Siegel Rare Book Endowment to benefit Stony Brook University Libraries.
The first seeds were planted in 1981 when Ron’s tragic death at the age of 66 inspired his wife and children to establish a rare book fund in his memory. Many years later, when Dorothy passed in 2014, family and friends came together and decided to elevate the fund into a permanent endowment that now memorializes the couple.
“Dad was a planner and a common sense visionary. He would be surprised and pleased by many of the changes at Stony Brook since the 1960s, but he would also not be surprised to see that some of the same intractable problems, such as parking, from back then are still prevalent today,” said Siegel.
Dorothy and Ron’s ties to Stony Brook were shared by the next generation of Siegels. In 1997, their son Paul earned his Stony Brook master’s degree in Technological Systems Management with a concentration in Environmental and Waste Management. He stayed on as a program coordinator for the CSTEP and LSAMP programs and he later began teaching as an adjunct faculty member. He still teaches and he currently serves as the co-director of the STEM Smart family of programs which emphasize access and equity for underrepresented minority and economically underserved students who are majoring in STEM disciplines.
Paul’s sister Martha, is a ‘77 Stony Brook graduate with a bachelor’s in Anthropology and Ibero-American Studies. Martha is married to Dennis Mynarcik, PhD, a current faculty member in the Department of Medicine. Martha is the Chair of the Interior Design Program at the Old Westbury campus of New York Institute of Technology, and along with Paul is continuing the family tradition of working in the field of education.
Through contributions from the Siegel family, their friends, and Stony Brook colleagues, the Dorothy J. and Ronald W. Siegel Rare Book Endowment is now a $50,000 endowment enriching the University’s special collections of rare books and documents. The Siegel endowment, which will exist for generations to come, is also befitting the longstanding relationship between Stony Brook and the family.
“We are deeply grateful for the Siegel family’s longstanding dedication to Stony Brook and their decision to further Ron and Dorothy’s legacy through generous support of the University Libraries. Together, we are building, preserving and providing access to rich and diverse collections for the Stony Brook University community and beyond,” Constantia Constantinou, Dean, Stony Brook University Libraries and Distinguished Librarian.