STONY BROOK, NY—May 19, 2023—More than 7,725 Stony Brook University students joined the ranks of the university’s accomplished alumni at the 2023 Degree Commencement Celebration ceremony. The ceremony took place at LaValle Stadium on Friday, May 19, 2023.
Students from this year’s graduating class in the university’s 66-year history, many who were first-year students at the beginning of the COVID pandemic when learning went remote, were awarded a combined 7,830 degrees and certificate completions. All candidates, with their family and friends, were invited to participate in-person or could watch via livestream.
“Now is an incredible time for this institution, so the graduation of the Class of 2023 is an especially auspicious moment,” said Stony Brook University President McInnis. “Stony Brook is a flagship university in the SUNY System, the number one public university in New York, and the founding institution for the New York Climate Exchange. This year, over 1⁄3 of our graduates are the first individuals in their families to attend college. These students, and those like them, are making a significant step not only toward their own future but the futures of their families and communities. We are honored that they’ve become a part of our legacy.”
After an address by United States Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, it turned to Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis, Provost Carl Lejuez and University Deans to confer the degrees.
Happily and with much fanfare, the Class of 2023 officially joined the ranks of more than 210,000 Seawolves worldwide. This class contains students from 71 countries and 46 states, and ranges in age from 19 – 76.
Degrees were bestowed in the following categories:
4,895 Bachelor’s Degrees, the largest number of degrees awarded in Stony Brook University’s history
2,115 Master’s Degrees
580 Doctoral and Professional Degrees
President McInnis spoke of the value of a Stony Brook University education, highlighting these students among those who excelled in the class of 2023:
Patrick Abel is a student-athlete who broke a 30-year-old record in the 100-meter dash. He also acted when he saw his peers were struggling with their mental health. He co-led a Black & Latino Men’s Health & Wellness Program to bring men of Stony Brook together, offering them needed resources and a space of support;
Dayashree Baskaran served on the board of Stony Brook’s chapter of Global Medical Brigades. Last summer, she and 12 other volunteers traveled to Honduras to help doctors perform examinations and give public health presentations in Spanish; and
Brittney Mickaligar sought to make a difference by volunteering at the university food pantry. She later became the undergraduate coordinator, managing the weekly donation and distribution of over 1,300 fresh food items.
The student speaker for the Class of 2023 was Vineeta Abraham who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and worked as a Resident Assistant and Operations and Talent Management Intern at the Career Center. She also served as the President of the Psi Chi, The International Honor Psychology at Stony Brook. Vineeta compared her experience at Stony Brook University to a work of art. She said, “The degree that you earned, the classes that you passed, the hours that you’ve crammed into the library, the summers you spent working. Be proud of those. They will never stop being important. But don’t forget everything in between. Those paint cracks are what made you the person you saw in the mirror this morning as you got ready for this day, a different person than you saw there when you got ready for your first day at Stony Brook….This version of you, right here, will get to experience so many things, five minutes from now, five years from now. You are the people that get to see all of that, do all of that. Whether it’s more school, or a job, or a nice long, well-deserved vacation. You will be lucky enough to experience every second.”
As part of the ceremony, the President of the Undergraduate Student Government presented President McInnis with the Senior Class Legacy class gift check for $22,300 with nearly 600 students donating, almost doubling the number from last year. Also, the Stony Brook Alumni Association provided matching dollars for this gift.
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About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University — New York’s flagship university and No. 1 public university — is going far beyond the expectations of today’s public universities. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. With more than 24,000 students, more than 2,800 faculty members, more than 200,000 alumni, a premier academic healthcare system and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs, Stony Brook is a research-intensive distinguished center of innovation dedicated to addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The university embraces its mission to provide comprehensive undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality, and is ranked among the top 35 public universities by Forbes and one of the top 80 universities in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges listing. Fostering a commitment to academic research and intellectual endeavors, Stony Brook’s membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places it among the top 65 research institutions in North America. The university’s distinguished faculty have earned esteemed awards such as the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. Stony Brook has the responsibility of co-managing Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy — one of only eight universities with a role in running a national laboratory. Providing economic growth for neighboring communities and the wider geographic region, the university totals an impressive $7.23 billion in increased economic output on Long Island. Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/stonybrooku/) and Twitter(@stonybrooku).