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Why I Give to My Alma Mater: Terese Handler Dickerson ’85

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I give back to Stony Brook University because it gave me the education to fearlessly seek a great job in publishing.

I transferred to Stony Brook in 1980 after 2 semesters at Suffolk (and a semester each at two other colleges over the course of 10 years), and wound up spending four full years there, every minute of which I loved.  Yes, I graduated with around 180 credits but, they were all worth the time and effort, as I learned so much from my classes.  I was an English major but, also studied medieval history, behavioral psychology, and French.  I think, because I was in my late 20’s, I had a more mature attitude towards education than I did when I was fresh out of high school.  I excelled in virtually all of my classes because I was truly ready.  While I had little in the way of a social life (I worked full time while also going to classes full time), I still consider my years at SB as among the happiest of my life, because I was learning something every day.

My final GPA was 3.85.  I don’t say that to brag, because I know I couldn’t do that today; I say it because I was so motivated to succeed, and so encouraged by my professors.  They were responsible for my success.  Believe me, I was sorry to leave.  But, I wound up working for a major scholarly publisher, where I stayed for 30 years.  I could never have done this without SB.  I count myself extremely fortunate to have studied there.

—Terese Handler Dickerson ’85, Facilities Manager at Oxford University Press

Inspired by Terese’s story? Click here to make your gift to Stony Brook University.

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