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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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    Discovering the New Stony Brook: A Salute to Achievement

    Presidents were square dancing, students were singing, and ducks were racing at the Salute to Stony Brook University last Thursday at the Academic Mall. The day-long celebration was the highlight of the ‘Golden Year’ celebrations scheduled for SBU’#146;s 40th year at Stony Brook. The afternoon began with performances, bed races, and refreshments. The night closed with a fireworks display and a salute to America.

    The event was held celebrate all the achievements Stony Brook has seen in the past year. Among these are the opening of the Seawovles Stadium, the completion of the Wong Center, and the University’#146;s invitation to the Association of American Universities (AAU), a world renowned organization. A new Asian Studies Department is opening, the Emerson String Quartet has joined the community, and a distinguished professor of Anthropology, Richard Leakey, has joined the faculty.

    ‘Stony Brook has a lot to celebrate. It’#146;s now one of the country’#146;s best,’ said Iva Kocijan, Director of Public Relations, Stony Brook University.

    Thursday’#146;s festivities began at 4:30p.m after President Kenny addressed the University at the Convocation. The evening was kicked off with student performances at the Academic Mall Center Stage. The Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Philippine United Student Organization (PUSO), DDKY Drum Group, and Belly Dancing Club, were among the many clubs that participated in the event. Special performances also came from Coalition, an R&B and Gospel Music group, and Kristen Canada, professional baton twirler.

    ‘It made me think of Stony Brook as a diverse, fun place to be; with all the clubs and organizations that I saw there,’ said Abby D’#146;Angelis, freshman.

    In fact, the entire campus was littered with programs. The SAC hosted Ballroom Dance Lessons and Broadway songs while the Library offered mini massages, tea parties and a night of jazz music by the Nicholas Walker band. Beds were raced up the Zebra Path, and ducks floated down the Stony Brook fountain. Jackalope Junction, a country music band taught dance outside Administration.

    ‘It felt like a real university community. It’#146;s not just a place where people go to class and go home,’ said Chinnu Varghese, freshman.

    Athletes also felt a stronger sense of community during a day that was meant to acknowledge their role in the University as well. ‘It was great to always have the President there, supporting us. Seeing everyone out there, it makes us want to work harder for the school,’ said Ken Lockhart, SBU Seawolves running back.

    The day was completed when the football team joined President Kenny and the crowd in singing ‘God Bless America’. This comes in remembrance of last year, when the event was set to run on September 11 but was cancelled. The moment served as a tribute to the country’#146;s and University’#146;s perseverance in a time tainted with tragedy.

    ‘It was postponed for a year, for obvious reasons,’ Kocijan said. ‘Today was a day to bring the faculty, staff and students together to celebrate our University’#146;s strength.’

    As dusk settled, fireworks lit the sky above the Administration building. While the crowd dispersed, Aden Smith, SBU Seawovles linebacker said, ‘The night was beautiful. I was glad to have such a warm reception. Stony Brook is giving us a lot of support this year.’

    With the success of this year’#146;s Salute to Stony Brook, administrators are considering holding the event for a second year. ‘The University has come so far in such a little time,’ Kocijan said. ‘We might do this every year. It was great to see everyone come out for their school.’

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