NEW KDHamptons Party Diary: Stars of Stony Brook University Gala Raises Record $28.2 Million
Over 850 guests gathered last evening at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City to honor alumna and Simons Foundation President Marilyn Hawrys Simons ’74, PhD ’84, at the 20th Stars of Stony Brook Gala. Hosted annually by the Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees, this year’s celebration recognized Dr. Simons for her leadership as president of one of the nation’s premier philanthropic institutions devoted to driving progress in basic science, as well as her contributions to improving educational opportunities for the underserved at the university and beyond.
The 2019 Stony Brook Gala also proved to be a record-breaker, raising an astounding $28.2 million. The total included $25 million from Dr. Simons, which will establish a new Center for Applied Economics and Public Policy at the University and another record-breaking $3.2 million plus was raised for student scholarships.
“This incredible gift will transform our economics department, “ said University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., “ and positively impact programs campus wide, enhancing Stony Brook’s voice in public policy and bolstering the worldwide reputation of the university. I am humbled by Marilyn’s vision, generosity and confidence in Stony Brook.”
Dr. Simons joins a distinguished roster of scholars, politicians, celebrities and luminaries who have been honored at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala. The roster includes Former Vice President Joseph Biden, Nobel Laureate CN Yang; actors Julie Andrews, Alan Alda, Jane Fonda, and Ed Harris; Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons; IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond ’76; and world-renowned conservationists Patricia Wright and Richard Leakey.
Since its inception in 2000 and prior to last evening’s event, the Stony Brook Foundation Stars of Stony Brook Gala had raised more than $36 million to support student scholarships and $21 million for academic programs of excellence. Dr. Simons joins a distinguished roster of scholars, politicians, celebrities and luminaries who have been honored at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala.
At Stony Brook University, Dr. Simons serves as a board member of the Turkana Basin Institute, a research institution that supports scientific projects in the Turkana Basin of Northern Kenya. She is founder and chair of the Stony Brook Women’s Leadership Council, a mentoring program that pairs outstanding female undergraduates with accomplished female alumni and friends of the University.
“Marilyn gives the University the courage to take risks and overcome boundaries in our effort to advance knowledge,” said President Stanley. “ She builds opportunity for those whose horizons would otherwise be limited. And she amplifies our ability to education the next generation of thoughtful leaders.”
For more information, please visit stonybrook.edu/gala.