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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    State of the University

    2006 is the largest incoming freshmen class that Stony Brook has seen in its 50 year history. Hundreds of millions of dollars are flowing into new projects here at Stony Brook. There will be new buildings all over campus in the next few years. Stony Brook will finish its acquisition of the Southampton Campus. Our University is also inducting a new faculty of over 100 people and incorporating 50 new tenure positions this year.

    On September 20, President Shirley Strum Kenny gave her State of the University Address at the University Convocation in the Staller Center‘s main theatre. New projects and achievements were mentioned in the address. Stony Brook is scaling itself to achieve recognition with the ranks of ivy leagues and many other internationally renowned universities. The motive is ambitious and the initiative is momentous.

    The Convocation took off with the topic of the new freshmen class of 2006-2007. During the last academic year, the admissions office received an unprecedented number of applicants in the University’s history – roughly 21,000 applicants. This was a 17% increase from last year, or 3,000 more applicants.

    Kenny continued to expand on her analysis of the freshmen class. Nationally, SAT scores have declined. Despite this fact, the average SAT score of the Stony Brook freshmen class has risen. Stony Brook’s admissions have become more selective. The percentage of students selected for admission decreased in a trend for the last 3 years, from 58% to 48%.

    Stony Brook is largely known as a scientific research institute. It’s aims is not to fall short of this goal, despite federal budget cuts into research programs across the nation. Stony Brook is funding new programs and buildings for research.

    The proposed projects are a new medical center located on the hospital’s campus, a 100,000 square feet ‘Center for Excellence’ building for research, a $22.5 million Center for Computational Science and Stony Brook’s own $25 million supercomputer that will be situated in Brookhaven Laboratory and will be used for research in particle physics, weather, and medicine. Stony Brook will complete its acquisition of Southampton campus this October. The Southampton campus will provide programs in health science, nursing, rehabilitation and possibly a marine biology program.

    Some of the University’s projects reach beyond the borders of academia. Stony Brook has completed renovations in its dormitories.

    Kenny also mentioned constructing new dormitories. A point of excitement at the Address was the announcement of a proposed recreation center, which will be constructed within 3 years. The project is to be situated between the Sports Complex and the Stony Brook Union. There are also plans and designs for a new dining center.

    Kenny went on to cite some achievements of Stony Brook’s medical faculty. A toddler was run over by an SUV, and the doctors of Stony Brook Hospital were able to save the child and prevent brain damage. Another patient had lost both his hands in an industrial accident, and the medical staff was able to successfully reattach both of his hands.

    ‘After years of bare bones budget, Stony Brook has obtained a balanced budget’hellip;this is the best budget in years,’ Kenny said. Listing these projects and endeavors. Stony Brookhas steadily increased the amount of scholarships awarded from $1.9 million to $9.1 million a 479% increase.

    Professor Mario Mignone, the Director of Center for Italian Studies, completely agreed with the new proposal of projects. According to him, the influx of finances will not only serve to strengthen Stony Brook’s science research foundation, but the money will spread to all departments. Mignone said that ‘We are very fortunate to have a president with a vision and energy.’ Mignone also hopes to start a PhD program in European Literature and Culture.

    Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mr. Robert McGrath said that Stony Brook University is changing very dramatically for the better. Why?!’ He offered several reasons, such as, Stony Brook’s great faculty,’ and its reputation as a research university. This creates opportunities that other schools lack.

    Stony Brook has grown from the bridge that used to connect the Library to the Union, and the days of monumental concrete that stood in the place of the grass amphitheater in front of the Staller Center. We are now witnessing the evolution of Stony Brook.

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