Although I graduated from Stony Brook long ago, I have vivid and warm memories of my time there. In an era when the University was in its formative stages (lots of construction and mud!) and known mostly for programs in technology and medicine, I received a world-class education in music, studying with several high profile individuals in the world of music. I will never forget working with Isaac Nemiroff, Richard Kramer, Leo Treitler, Daria Semegen, Peter Winkler, Charles Rosen and many other luminaries. Without the strong foundation these educators provided, I never would have been able to forge my own career in music education, including 30+ years of teaching and service as a department chair or assistant chair at Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange) in Middletown, NY. I know that several of my Stony Brook classmates went on to successful careers of their own. Judy Lochhead, a fellow student while I was working on my master’s degree, went on to chair the music department at Stony Brook!
Beyond my personal connection with Stony Brook, I am a strong believer in the value of affordable public higher education, so I am happy to support it when I can. Although I cannot give as much to “the cause” as I would like, I hope that my modest contributions will help support the cause of affordable public higher education, particularly in the area of the arts and humanities, areas of creativity and experience that make us human and lead to enlightened and spiritually fulfilling lives. Giving what I can reminds me of the debt and gratitude I owe Stony Brook for what the university provided to me personally, helps me feel connected to the world of education in general, fills me with pride to be able to call myself an alumnus of Stony Brook, and makes me hopeful for the future of our nation and the world at large.
—Mark Strunsky ’75, ’78, Assistant Chair, Arts and Communication, Orange County Community College
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