The Stony Brook Foundation’s 23rd annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala will honor two powerhouse figures in their respective fields — His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, and John L. Hennessy ’75, ’77, the president emeritus of Stanford University — on Wednesday, April 13, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.
HSH Prince Albert II will be honored for his dedication to ocean conservation and sustainability, while Hennessy will be celebrated for his transformative work in computer science and electrical engineering.
“This year’s remarkable honorees reflect the ethos of our university,” said Stony Brook Foundation Chair Richard Gelfond ’76. “Both HSH Prince Albert II and John Hennessy, one of our most esteemed and accomplished alumni, are reflective of the impactful and innovative vision for the future of Stony Brook and of our shared world.”
“It’s no secret that today’s students are navigating in a very challenging environment,” said President Maurie McInnis. “Even more so for Stony Brook students, many of whom are first-generation college students already challenged by financial obstacles. Friends of the Foundation’s annual gala share our determination to ensure Stony Brook continues to be a national leader in social mobility. Through continued financial support and by honoring individuals whose life’s work is a true inspiration, we strive to provide our students with opportunities that will make an impact on their lives.”
Tickets to the Gala are available at stonybrook.edu/gala.
Since its inception in 2000, the Stars of Stony Brook Gala has raised more than $64 million for scholarships and programs of academic and clinical excellence. Proceeds from the April 13 gala will be dedicated entirely to student scholarships. This year’s gala honorees are stars in the arenas of fighting climate change and computer science and electrical engineering.
HSH Prince Albert II, the son of Prince Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly, resolved to help address global environmental problems after a 1992 trip with his father to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In 2006, the Prince led an Arctic expedition, becoming the first incumbent head of state to have reached the North Pole. That same year, he launched the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to limit the effects of climate change, promote renewable energy, preserve biodiversity and improve universal access to clean water. It has awarded more than $1 billion in philanthropy to a number of worthy environmental organizations.
Today, HSH Prince Albert II guides sustainable policies implemented by his government for the principality to be carbon neutral by 2050. He has been honored by organizations around the world for his contributions and actions in favor of protecting the environment. A five-time Olympian in bobsleigh, Prince Albert II is also a current member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and chair of the IOC Sustainable and Legacy Commission.
Hennessy is the James F. and Mary Lynn Gibbons Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in the Stanford School of Engineering and current chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. After earning his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from Stony Brook University, Hennessy became a trailblazing giant in the computer field. Early in his career at Stanford, he collaborated with students, and in parallel with Professor David Patterson of the University of California, Berkeley, to develop Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) technology, now used in nearly all computer chips. For their work, Hennessy and Patterson received the 2017 ACM Turing Award, known as the “Nobel Prize of Computing.”
Hennessy’s later research focused on multiprocessor systems and high-performance computer architecture. He has lectured and published widely on this topic, including co-authoring two textbooks on computer architecture with Patterson.
Before being named Stanford’s 10th president in 2000, Hennessy served as provost, dean of the School of Engineering and chair of computer science. Considered one of Stanford’s most transformative leaders, Hennessy fostered interdisciplinary teaching and intellectual collaboration, strengthened the visual and performing arts and bolstered financial aid to encourage a more socioeconomically diverse student body. After stepping down as president, Hennessy created Stanford’s Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, the world’s largest fully endowed graduate scholarship program.
For the past 30 years, Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences has also been a proud beneficiary of Hennessy’s counsel, engagement and generosity. He created both a professorship and an endowed graduate fellowship in computer science, has visited the campus as a guest lecturer and student mentor, and was inducted into the College’s Hall of Fame in 2018.
A distinguished roster of scholars, politicians, celebrities and luminaries have been honored at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala. The roster includes President Joseph Biden; Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons; President, MJS Foundation Marilyn Hawrys Simons ’74, ’84; Nobel Laureate CN Yang; actors Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Jane Fonda and Ed Harris; IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond ’76 and award-winning conservationist Patricia Wright.