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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Stony Brook Celebrates 50th Anniversary

    On Wednesday, Sep. 19, at the State of the University Address, people walked into the main theater of the Staller Center. They received a brooch that bore on it ‘Stony Brook University Fiftieth Anniversary’ with the number 50 in bold letters. President Shirley Strum Kenny showed her SB pride dressed in red, and began the convocation with an introduction of the many guests seated on stage, of which ‘most but not all [were] named John,’ Kenny said. Included in this group were the new provost Eric Kaler, Senators John Flanagan and Kenneth LaValle, and past SB presidents, John Toll and John Marburger.

    During the first part of the convocation, a number of the guests were asked to speak. Senator Flanagan said, ‘I turn 46 this year and I cannot believe how young Stony Brook is,’ and called SB ‘youthful and vibrant.’ Senator LaValle commended all three presidents for their work and ended his speech by addressing the new faculty, ‘you’re joining a school [which] maybe 50 years young, but is a nationally prominent and internationally prominent university ‘hellip; make it even greater.’

    In relation to SB’s rise to a nationally recognized institution, Kenny addressed how much the number of students and faculty increased since 1957. Freshman applicants grew from 365 to 24,059. Freshman enrolled grew from 128 to 2,700. The total number of students initially was 148 and now it is around 23,300. The number of faculty members went from 14 to about 2000. In the last 10 years, the average SAT score jumped 110 points from 1111 to 1221. Out-of-state admissions have doubled in the last three years.

    ‘Stony Brook is red hot,’ Kenny exclaimed. It is ranked in the top 2% in the universities around the world, in the top 50 out of public universities, and in the top 100 in North American universities.

    Kenny discussed Stony Brook’s many advancements, including the medical miracles that have taken place at the hospital. One of which included a little boy who was hit with an SUV, but has fully recovered. She also emphasized the strength of our sports teams including, the football, soccer, and lacrosse teams.

    SB’s second President Toll and third President Marburger were given an opportunity to speak. Both commented on the accomplishments of the university under their own terms.’ President Toll discussed the initial adversities of building the institution and how it was still able to persevere.’ President Marburger brought the first and last part of the speech from the State of the University address from October 26, 1982, during Stony Brook’s 25th anniversary. He wanted everyone to see the ‘contrast between 25 years ago’ and the present. Both received standing ovations.

    This was followed by a slide show of pictures from the past and present, as well as some statistics that conveyed the advancements made by the university. First, Kenny welcomed everyone, including the new faculty members. Then she started her presentation by indicating how ‘time flies’ since the establishment of Stony Brook in September 17, 1957, when it was originally known as the Long Island Center. With only 148 students at a small estate in Oyster Bay, it started with a small number and eventually grew to a vast university.

    Kenny spoke about the first president of the LI Center,’ John Francis Lee. After Francis’ term of less than a year, Toll took office in 1965 to continued building the establishment. The institution grew under his guidance, until Marburger’s arrival in 1980. Coinciding with his arrival was the beginning of construction of the hospital. Under Marburger’s administration, the hospital was completed, the Health Sciences was established, and many more advances were made. Today, Stony Brook has expanded to include branches of SB Manhattan and SB Southampton, the Research and Development Park, and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Kenny summed this development as she ended the convocation saying the ’50th anniversary is really the beginning.’

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