Stony Brook Matters

Investiture Ceremony Honors Renowned Faculty and Celebrates Robert and Kathryn Frey, Beloved Benefactors of Stony Brook University

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Stony Brook University President, Maurie McInnis, PhD; Frey Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Quantitative Finance, Stan Uryasev, PhD; Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Fotis Sotiropolous, PhD

On June 10, Stony Brook University formally installed Stan Uryasev, PhD, as the Frey Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Quantitative Finance and celebrated the friendship and philanthropy of alumnus Robert Frey, BS ‘80, PhD ‘87 and his wife, Kathy.  

Devoted supporters of Stony Brook since 1987, Robert and Kathy Frey’s influence is evident campus-wide. They have generously supported a vast number of programs at Stony Brook, ranging from student scholarships and research to athletics and the Staller Center for the Arts.

The Freys’ counsel and leadership have been equally invaluable. Robert has served on the CEAS Dean’s Council and the Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees. Kathy has been a valued friend of Stony Brook’s Women’s Leadership Council since its founding in 2014, in addition to her role as president of the Frey Family Foundation. 

Their most recent contribution, the Frey Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Quantitative Finance, helps the University recognize and recruit leading minds in the field of applied mathematics, inspire students and create a margin of excellence in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS).

“We are honored by Robert and Kathy’s generous philanthropy,” said Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis. “Their confidence in us has been instrumental to our continued growth and excellence, and has allowed us to build connections across the globe. With their trust and support, Stony Brook has become a place for visionary talent.”  

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Kathy and Robert Frey

The Freys were introduced to Stony Brook in 1973, when Robert enrolled as a part-time commuter student. After attending school part-time for 14 years, he earned both a bachelor’s and a doctorate in applied mathematics. 

Robert forayed his degrees into a successful career in finance, including 12 years as a managing director at Renaissance Technologies. When he retired from Renaissance in 2004, Robert was asked to help build a quantitative finance program in Stony Brook’s Department of Applied Mathematics. Today, the highly selective program is widely regarded as one of the best in the country. 

“For me, Stony Brook was a transformative experience,” said Robert. “I don’t know how I can thank Stony Brook enough for what I have in my life and the life I’ve lived so far. The Frey Family Foundation Endowed Chair is one small way of paying back the University for what it’s given me. And it’s a way of memorializing, in a very direct way, the fact that this family owes so much to Stony Brook.” 

Robert added, “Stan Uryasev is an excellent professional, someone who combines both practical experience in real financial markets with a solid theoretical background. He’s a perfect individual to take over this program, and I think we can expect great things from him.”

Since joining Stony Brook in 2019 as a professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Stan Uryasev has worked tirelessly to keep Stony Brook at the forefront of applied mathematics. 

Professor Uryasev is the co-inventor of two popular risk management methodologies: Conditional Value-at-Risk and Conditional Drawdown-at-Risk. His research, which includes important theoretical contributions in quantitative finance, risk management, stochastic optimization, machine learning and military operations research, has broadly increased the exposure of Stony Brook’s quantitative finance program to the international community. 

He has published four books and more than 100 research papers and articles, serves on the editorial board of several respected journals and is editor emeritus and chairman of the editorial board for the Journal of Risk. Known for his collaborative research, Professor Uryasev is a frequent speaker at academic and professional conferences.

“We are so fortunate to have faculty of Stan’s caliber in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences,” said Fotis Sotiropoulos, dean of CEAS. “We applaud his accomplishments thus far, and are excited for his future pursuits, which I have every confidence will be outstanding contributions to the entire Stony Brook community.”

In addition to the endowed chair, the Freys also established the Frey Family Foundation Professorship in Applied Mathematics and Statistics. Funds from the professorship will support additional research for four incumbents over the next two years: Associate Professors Xiangmin Jiao, Dima Kozakov and Pei Fen Kuan and Professor Robert C. Rizzo. 

“It is my pleasure to join the department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics,” said Professor Uryasev. “I consider this to be a big responsibility, as the bar has been set very high by my predecessors and leading faculty. But I know we will reach that bar, especially with the hard work of such outstanding faculty as the esteemed Frey Family Foundation professors and my colleague, Professor Robert Frey. Robert is the shining jewel in our department. I’d like to thank him and his wife, Kathy, for everything they’ve done for the department and for the University.”

-Kate O’Brien

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