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Comprehensive Campaign Raises Record $630.7 Million

Simons at gift announcement press conference

Celebrating the most successful fundraising effort in SUNY history, Stony Brook University has announced the conclusion of The Campaign for Stony Brook, a seven-year effort that raised $630.7 million from 47,961 friends, alumni, foundations and corporations, exceeding the $600 million goal by five percent.

Designed to strengthen areas of strategic importance to the University, the focus of the Campaign for Stony Brook was to raise funds for financial aid and endowed chairs and professorships to attract and retain the best students and faculty; for research investments to accelerate productivity and new discoveries; and for interdisciplinary academic programs and facilities.

Simons at gift announcement press conference
Jim and Marilyn Simons announce their $150 million lead gift for the Campaign for Stony Brook on December 14, 2011.

“Philanthropy, and the generosity of our donors, provides the margin of excellence for an R1, AAU public research university like Stony Brook, during a time when state support is waning and more and more students are seeking access to excellence,” said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “The Campaign for Stony Brook dramatically underscores the importance and impact of philanthropy across our campus and I am extremely grateful to my fellow campaign leaders, and to those who contributed the extra resources we need to continue to educate and prepare the leaders of tomorrow.”

Campaign leadership —including co-chairs Richard L. Gelfond, BA ’76, Peggy Bonapace Gelfond, James H. Simons, PhD, Marilyn H. Simons, BA’74, PhD ’84, Cary F. Staller, Esq., Marisela H. Staller, Glenn R. Dubin, BA ’78, Eva Andersson-Dubin, MD, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Senior Vice President for University Advancement Dexter A. Bailey Jr., and the Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees —collectively donated $310.9 million.

Of the $630.7 million raised in the Campaign, over 80 percent of the dollars have been received. Some of the Campaign accomplishments include:

  • 44 newly endowed chairs and professorships across campus in areas such as modern American art, metabolomics, Hellenic studies, nature and the environment, music, American history, Tamil language and culture, bioimaging, computational science, coastal ecology and conservation, energy and the environment, computational biology, insurance and business, among many others. Prior to the Campaign, Stony Brook had only 11 endowed faculty positions on campus.
  • New investments in areas of excellence such as Centre ValBio in Madagascar, Southampton graduate programs in creative writing and film, undergraduate research, the Alda Center for Communicating Science, the Gelfond Fund for Mercury Research, the Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center and  at the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya.
  • $52.6 million for financial aid: $40.3 million for current use and $12.3 million for endowed undergraduate scholarships and graduate student fellowships.
  • $125.9 million for facilities and campus life, highlighted by gifts totaling $80 million for the new Medical and Research Translation (MART) and Stony Brook Children’s Hospital buildings scheduled to open this fall, $2 million to help refurbish the University pool,
    $1 million to modernize the North and Central Reading Rooms in the Melville Library and $5 million to expand the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics.
  • $209.1 million for research and to create and support academic centers of excellence, including the Bahl Center for Metabolomics and Imaging, the Institute for Advanced Computational Science, the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, the Mattoo Center for India Studies, the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program, the Lourie Center for Pediatric MS and the Thomas Hartman Center for Parkinson’s Research.

Post campaign infographic

The quiet phase of the Campaign began in the fall of 2011 with a lead gift of $150 million from the Simons Foundation and former Math Department Chair Jim and Marilyn Simons. Their gift inspired 80 of Jim Simons’ colleagues at Renaissance Technologies—the Setauket quantitative investment company he founded and incubated on Stony Brook’s campus in the early 80’s—to donate more than $127.4 million to support a wide range of programs.

“The Simons’ lead gift created a groundswell of support for the important work we do to drive growth at Stony Brook,” said Richard Gelfond, Chair of the Stony Brook Foundation Board and CEO of IMAX Corporation. “Their confidence in Stony Brook and the investments they inspired have given the University the financial capacity to compete for the best researchers, clinicians, teachers and students and to aim for excellence in every way.”

Many of the dollars raised have had a significant impact on Stony Brook’s research and clinical programs. “For the School of Medicine, the incredible generosity of our friends has catalyzed several innovative and impactful research and clinical programs, advancing what we know about cancer, cognitive decline, and several important diseases,” said Stony Brook University School of Medicine Dean and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Kenneth Kaushansky, MD. “Campaign funding has also greatly enhanced our strength in imaging technology to diagnose and treat disease, in leveraging big data to help detect patterns of disease and response to treatment, and in new procedures to reduce the risk of stroke, colon cancer and heart disease.”

“Stony Brook has long been on the leading edge of many of today’s life-saving practices, technology, research and clinical practices,” said President Stanley, who holds a medical degree in immunology. “The remarkable philanthropic investments in our medicine mission are accelerating our ability to recruit the top minds in the field today, influencing the next generation of physicians, providing best practices to our patients and contributing to research that will ultimately benefit thousands around the world.”

The Campaign has been an “equal opportunity” fundraising success, galvanizing the entire academic community, said University Provost Michael A. Bernstein.  “During the Campaign, more and more donors were introduced to innovative and worthy academic programs, and their gifts are having a significant impact. Most importantly, the Campaign built on areas of excellence across the entire campus, fortifying our humanities, arts, social and life sciences programs. In fact, 97.8 percent of all funds committed were dedicated by donors to specific priorities.”

“I am awed by the generosity of the thousands of individuals who contributed to this campaign, reflecting the value they place in Stony Brook’s important mission, both as an engine of social mobility and a research incubator,” said Senior Vice President for University Advancement Dexter A. Bailey Jr. “Building a strong fundraising program is essential for Stony Brook to compete effectively with our aspirational peers for top students, faculty and research programs.”

Stony Brook’s previous comprehensive campaign, “The Emergence of Stony Brook,” raised $361.7 million in private dollars when it concluded in 2009.  Since then, the University’s fundraising productivity climbed from approximately $28 million per year in 2011 to an average of $90 million per year, which equates to nearly $300,000 in philanthropic commitments every day and an average gift size of $6,587.

In another metric of productivity, officials say the Campaign helped re-engage Stony Brook alumni around the world. A record number of alumni —17,343 in all—donated to fund scholarships, teaching, the arts, research and other initiatives at their alma mater.

“The Campaign has had a real multiplier effect on Stony Brook,” said President Stanley. “Beyond the remarkable philanthropic dollars it generated, from donors in 50 states and 58 countries, and thousands of our own employees, the Campaign served to strengthen the connections we have with our alumni and friends, and our staff. Their investments fortified our pride and belief in the important work we are doing. The Campaign’s impact will reverberate across our campus for years to come.”

For more on The Campaign for Stony Brook results, visit

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