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Media Advisory: Stony Brook University to Confer 6,298 Degrees at 55th Commencement Ceremony

Media Advisory: Stony Brook University to Confer 6,298 Degrees at 55th Commencement Ceremony

Honorary Degree Recipients Billy Joel and Charles B. Wang to Join Platform Party

Stony Brook University; Office of Media Relations

631-632-6310;; @sbunewsdesk

Editors’ Notes: Please confirm in advance for press credentials and by completing assignment letter request form. Location and parking directions below. Rain or shine.


Stony Brook University’s 55th May commencement ceremony will award 6,298* degrees and three honorary degrees to luminaries who have established remarkable legacies in their respective field. The degrees awarded include:

3,823 Bachelors
1,761 Masters
473 Doctoral
199 Certificates
121 MDs
39 DDS

The three honorary degrees include:

  • William Martin Joel, better known as Billy Joel, is GRAMMY® Award winning American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Long Island’s Piano Man will receive a Doctor of Music.
  • Ben Shneiderman, a renowned computer science Professor and two-time Stony Brook alumnus who pioneered the human-computer interaction and the highlighted textual link, will receive a Doctor of Science (he received his degree on Thursday, May 21 at the doctoral hooding ceremony).

  • One of Long Island’s most prolific businessmen and philanthropists, Charles B. Wang, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters. Wang(pronounced “Wong”) is co-founder of Computer Associates International (now CA, Inc.), owner of the New York Islanders ice hockey team and helped establish an Asian and Asian-American cultural hub on campus – The Charles B. Wang Center.


  • Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. will deliver the commencement address.
  • Ashley Rizzotto, Class of 2015, Student Speaker. Rizzotto, a Sociology Major, waschosen by a panel of students and faculty who review all essay submissions. She is a recipient of the Theresa Montanero 200% Leadership Award.


Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, Stony Brook University
Parking and Entrance in Gate 4


Friday, May 22, 2015; 11 a.m.
Field Access Media Credential Required.


LIE to Exit 62. North on Nicolls Road 8.5 miles to the Main Entrance and make a right at the light. Proceed to Stadium Road and make a left. Enter stadium at Gate 4 Information Table.  

President Stanley to highlight two personal student stories:

Marayln Walker, who is one of the first Freedom School Site Coordinators and has taught at each of the summer programs since its inception in 2012, will receive her Master’s in Social Work.  Walker will return this summer to serve as the Site Coordinator, overseeing all teachers, at the Freedom School and will attend national Career Development Facilitator training at the University of Tennessee in June.  She is also a participant in the EOP/AIM programs.

Dan Pilo, a US Army Veteran and Purple Heart medal recipient, will receive his Bachelor’s in Sociology. Since leaving the military, Pilo has held numerous positions within the national defense sector, has severed as the Vice President of the Stony Brook University Veterans Student Organization and as a student mentor for the VETS4VETS program – which helps new student veterans get acclimated to the university environment.



 * As of 5/14/2015

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