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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Campus Spotlight: Dean Stein, the original Seawolf, says good-bye

Jerrold L. Stein, the associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, is retiring at the conclusion of this summer after an incredible 38 years of service to Stony Brook University.  His contributions to the university will be forever remembered due to their high impact on the student body.

He coined the “What’s a Seawolf? I’m a Seawolf” chant and helped found The Spirit of Stony Brook marching band, which just completed its eighth season.

According to Stein, he never intended the “What’s a Seawolf?” phrase to be a campuswide chant. Instead, the now famous cheer was part of a speech he was giving at an alumni event over five years ago. There, he claimed that he would know his job was done when all students and alumni would answer the question proudly with “I am a Seawolf.”

Not anticipating the flight the chant would take, Stein did not retire when he said he would. Instead, he has been able to see just how much the simple “What’s a Seawolf” means to all Stony Brook students.

As the Spirit of Stony Brook continues to give rise to an element of excitement and pride at Stony Brook,  Stein can be thanked yet again for his contribution of helping create something  that  is  so  essential to our campus today.

Commenting on his involvement with the band, Stein humbly said, “I was the one who facilitated the process and found the right people to get it done,” and that he did.

Due to his involvement, The Spirit of Stony Brook has a membership of over 200 dedicated and enthusiastic students and plays at all kinds of events ranging from football, basketball and volleyball games to weddings, Bat Mitzvahs and the Columbus Day Parade in New York City.

Stein has also impacted the students in more than just school spirit by nurturing students social and mental well being through the creation of programs such as The Red Watch Band, The Community Pledge, Stony Brook University Undergraduate Colleges and the Sexual Assault Peer Education Program (SAFE). 

Through these contributions  Stein has certainly showed a tremendous love for Stony Brook University but more importantly for those who attend it.

Sugandha Gupta, a current sophomore pursing a double major in Health Sciences and Psychology and a resident of H Quad fondly recollects the incredible impact Stein has had on her short time at Stony Brook University.  As a freshman, Gupta had her LDS 102 seminar with  Stein in the spring. 

The seminar was called Rituals, Ceremonies and Traditions and was centered around understanding Stony Brook’s history. 

In reflection of her time spent with Stein, Gupta states “Dean Stein has demonstrated his love for the students by always being warm and welcoming. 

He encourages students by providing them with useful information as resources,” adding, “The genuine belief Dean Stein has in each and every one of the students at Stony Brook has contributed to an overall sense of worth and efficiency in the student body. It is this worth and efficiency that has allowed the university to grow spirited and successful.” Gupta’s heartfelt sentiment regarding Stein is surely one felt by many students on campus.

Another member of the Stony Brook Community who was able to offer kind words on Stein and his involvement with the students on campus is Adil Hussain, president of the Undergraduate Student Government. 

Hussain, a senior business, political science and pre-nursing major has worked closely with Stein during his four years as a student at Stony Brook.

Hussain first met Stein through his work in the Dean of Students Office as the marketing intern for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and furthered their relationship when he became the President of the USG. 

When asked what he believes Stein’s greatest impact on both Stony Brook and himself Hussain replied, “Dean Stein has been a constant proponent for student life, student activism and promoting health awareness.

Stein’s significant efforts to advocate on the organizations behalf have allowed us to provide the events and services for this year. He is an inspiring mentor who has guided me and the rest of us in USG to succeed in all that we do.” 

Stein’s is clearly loved by the students just as much as he loves them, which is important to fostering a strong community.

President Samuel L. Stanley also has many kind words to share about Stein. 

When asked about Stein’s most important contributions to Stony Brook, Stanley, the president for five years, said that Stein’s involvement has been “Transformative to the campus.” Stanley also adds that he has tremendous confidence in Stein and that he makes his job easier at the university.  

Stein has earned many prestigious awards and honors ranging from the Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Service as a Dean presented by NASPA Region II to the Distinguished Alumni Award from SUNY Cortland. Stein has also won the Stony Brook President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Stein will participate in the search for a successor to ensure that he feels they posses the same goals determination and vision for Stony Brook University.

Although he is retiring and plans to take time to spend with his wife and children as well as to relax and travel, he plans to stay involved with Stony Brook University. After 38 years of incredible service everyone can be truly inspired by the wonderful man that we were so lucky to call our dean. 

Through all his effort he helped transform Stony Brook into the school we are all proud to be a part of today.

When asked for the actual definition of a Seawolf, he replied “Everyone with a SB ID. A person who shows and gives respect, displays concern for others and is proud to be a member of our community.”

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