John H. Marburger, III, the third president of Stony Brook University and an admired scientist, passed away in his home in Port Jefferson, New York, on Thursday, July 28, after four years of treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 70 years old.
Jack Marburger was a superb advocate for science, a visionary leader, and a highly skilled administrator who successfully led three vital institutions: Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Jack’s devotion to Stony Brook University was matchless. He was a man of extraordinary energy, a man who loved solving problems both scientific and administrative, a man of action, who was also thoughtful, contemplative, and very strategic.
Jack was a member of the Stony Brook faculty in the Departments of Physics and Electrical Engineering since he stepped down as president in 1994. Among the many advancements for which he was responsible during his 14-year presidency and beyond, several stand out as transformational to this institution.
As president, he led Stony Brook’s growth in technology transfer and federally sponsored scientific research to exceed that of any other public university in the northeastern United States. He later became the first president of Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), a partnership of the State University Research Foundation on behalf of Stony Brook University and Battelle Memorial Institute. Under his leadership in 1997, BSA competed for and won the contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to operate Brookhaven National Laboratory. Jack was appointed its first director under BSA leadership. During his directorship of BNL, the lab commissioned the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and achieved ISO14001 certification of the laboratory’s environmental management system. Jack was also instrumental in fostering essential relationships that helped establish BNL as a valued partner and friend to the surrounding community, and as a scientific and economic powerhouse for Long Island.
In 2000 Jack was asked by President George W. Bush to serve as his Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, a position he held for eight years. He returned to Stony Brook in 2009 and took on the role of Vice President for Research in 2010, where he used his broad administrative experience and his unparalleled understanding of federally sponsored research to bring Stony Brook’s Research Office to new levels of excellence. All of his transformational efforts for the Office of the Vice President of Research were accomplished while he was in a full-fledged battle with cancer. His courage and his amazing productivity during this period were truly inspirational to all of us. I know I speak for many when I say it was an honor and a privilege to serve with Jack Marburger on behalf of Stony Brook University.
Jack is survived by his wife, Carol; his son John and daughter-in-law Marianne D’Amato of Annandale, Virginia; his son Alexander and daughter-in-law Tracy Lampula of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts; his grandson Ian, of Annandale, Virginia, and his sister Mary Hoffman-Habig, of Edgewater, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, the Marburger family requests that memorial gifts in Jack’s name be directed to the John H. Marburger, III Memorial Fund. The Fund will support fellowships for women undertaking graduate study in the physical sciences, engineering or mathematics; fellowships for graduate students in music performance; and the Pollock/Krasner House. Please contact the Office of Advancement at (631) 632-6300 for information.
A memorial service will be held at Stony Brook University on Friday, September 16, 2011; more information will follow as details become available.