Upon arriving at Stony Brook University, I was immediately struck by its uniquely energetic ethos. In the great tradition of American public universities, Stony Brook thrives on the enterprising spirit of a diverse community of scholars. As an elite, but never elitist, university, we facilitate social mobility by nurturing the aspirations and talents of our students, including the 40 percent who are first-generation, college-bound.
While we are an institution of global reach, core elements of our identity are rooted in our Long Island location. The University is a major driver of our region’s economic development and vitality. Not only are we Long Island’s largest single-site employer, we also oversee the Long Island State Veterans Home, conduct marine and atmospheric science research, and lead a premier academic medical center and hospital network. Through our affiliation with Brookhaven National Laboratory, we are one of only eight universities responsible for the collaborative management of a national laboratory. These efforts contribute to a regional impact that totals $7.23 billion in annual economic output. At the same time, our research, scholarship and innovation continue to improve the health and well-being of communities worldwide.
In addition to taking great pride in Stony Brook’s renowned leadership in the STEM fields, I want to celebrate our outstanding accomplishments in humanities, art making and the social sciences. Through our excellence in liberal arts, we attract students of the highest caliber by promoting a well-rounded learning environment. I am proud that my colleagues at Stony Brook are a socially conscious group of academics whose work illuminates the challenges of our time. Artist-scholars such as Stephanie Dinkins demonstrate how transdisciplinary artworks offer a valuable critique of artificial intelligence as it intersects race, gender and our shared future.
None of these recent achievements would be possible without our benefactors. State funding for higher education is in decline nationwide, and we rely more than ever on the support and guidance of dedicated friends like David Acker ’81, a pioneering inventor and CEO who still makes time to serve as vice chair of the Stony Brook Foundation. As you read this issue, I hope you share my excitement in learning about the people who shape our institution. Stony Brook University is defined by the excellence of our community.