Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, and his wife, Ellen Li, MD, PhD, have pledged to match personally the total amount raised by the Class of 2019’s Senior Class Legacy.
Each year, the Senior Class Legacy Council, a group now comprising more than 20 students, encourages fellow seniors to join them in leaving a lasting mark at Stony Brook.
Over the last three years, giving to the Senior Class Legacy has grown significantly, from $4,584 committed by 150 members of the Class of 2016 to $24,287 last year by more than 900 members of the Class of 2018. Funds raised have benefited all areas of campus including the schools and colleges, scholarships, Children’s Hospital, and many other important parts of the University.
“By matching the total raised by the class of 2019, Ellen and I want to let our students know that we are behind them 100 percent and really appreciate what they are doing to help others,” Dr. Stanley said. “We also know that our challenge may inspire them to want to do more, and we are committed to helping the class of 2019 make a real difference.”
President Stanley and Dr. Li have a generous history of giving back to Stony Brook. In 2012, they established the Ellen Li and Samuel L. Stanley Jr. Endowed Scholarship in the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. They have also contributed to many areas of campus including Athletics, Staller Center, EOP/AIM, and others.
“When I first heard that President Stanley and Dr. Li were matching the Senior Class Gift, I was both surprised and excited,” says Senior Class Legacy Council member, Zainab Alnajar ‘19. “It’s such an honor that they have chosen our class for this Presidential challenge, I can’t wait to see how big of an impact we can make now.”
A key part of the program’s success is giving students the freedom to designate gifts to areas of interest that influenced their time at Stony Brook rather than to one specific item. And by starting their tradition of giving back as seniors, students help grow the value of their Stony Brook degree because the alumni giving rate is an important factor in US News and World Report rankings.
“When our students choose to get involved by donating their time and through raising money philanthropically, they are not only helping others, they are helping themselves,” Dr. Li said. “Studies have shown that giving is healthy, and can lead to a happier and longer life.”
This year’s Senior Class Legacy total along with President Stanley and Dr. Li’s gift will be presented at the Class of 2019 Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 24, 2019.