Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala to Feature Conversation Between Alan Alda and Stony Brook President Maurie McInnis

PStars of Stony Brook Gala 2021roceeds from May 6 Virtual Event to Benefit Student Scholarships at Stony Brook University
The Stony Brook Foundation will raise critical funds for student scholarships at its 22nd Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala held virtually on Thursday, May 6, 2021. 
As a special feature of this year’s program, renowned actor Alan Alda, co-founder of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and 2013 Gala honoree, will introduce guests to Stony Brook University’s new president, Maurie McInnis. During their candid conversation, Alda and McInnis will discuss everything from improvisation and the power of curiosity to the realities of life in a pandemic. 

Since its inception in 2000, the Stony Brook Foundation’s Stars of Stony Brook Gala has raised more than $62 million to support student scholarships and academic programs of excellence. 

Maurie McInnis

Maurie McInnis, Stony Brook University President

“The recipients of these scholarships represent some of our most exceptional students,” said President McInnis. “This support gives these deserving scholars not only much-needed financial relief, but also the freedom to pursue their passions, challenge themselves academically and engage in prestigious internships, research projects and leadership opportunities. As a result, they’re leaving Stony Brook with a wealth of invaluable experiences that have fully prepared them to make a tremendous impact on the world.”  
While this year’s event will be online rather than in-person, guests will be able to interact with one another during a virtual reception preceding the formal program. 
“The extraordinary events of this past year have necessitated that we reimagine many aspects of our work and personal lives,” said Stony Brook Foundation Chair and IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond ’76. “I have been immensely proud of how well everyone at Stony Brook has adapted to the new way of working, communicating and celebrating together. This year’s Stars of Stony Brook Gala will be a shining example of that adaptability, as we gather together remotely to hear from President McInnis and Mr. Alda, honor our beloved University and raise critical scholarship dollars for our students.” 
Alan Alda

Alan Alda, Actor and Co-Founder of Stony Brook’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

Although Alan Alda is perhaps best known for his award-winning work in movies, theater and television, he has an equally distinguished record in the public communication of science. For 13 years, he was the host of the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers. As a co-founder of Stony Brook’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, Alda is passionate about training the next generation of scientists and health professionals to communicate more effectively with the public, officials, the media and others outside their own discipline.
“Recent events have reminded us of the importance of communicating scientific discoveries in clear, concise, honest language,” continued Gelfond. “Stony Brook’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science has been at the forefront of this practice for more than 10 years. We’re honored that Alan will be participating in this year’s Gala.” 
A distinguished roster of scholars, politicians, celebrities, and luminaries have been honored at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala. Last year’s honorees — Stony Brook Foundation Trustee, former Stony Brook faculty member and Physician in Chief and Vice President for Medical Affairs at The Rockefeller University, Barry Coller, MD, Hon. ’03, and art historian/educator and Advisory Board Chair of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, Bobbi Coller, PhD — helped raise $1.8 million for student scholarships and $580,000 for programmatic and student support at Stony Brook’s Renaissance School of Medicine. 
Other past honorees have included President Joseph Biden; Renaissance Technologies Founder James Simons; Simons Foundation President Marilyn Hawrys Simons ’74, ’84; Nobel Laureate CN Yang; IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond ’76; actors Julie Andrews, Jane Fonda and Ed Harris; and award-winning conservationists Patricia Wright and Richard Leakey.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit   
22nd Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala Details:
Thursday, May 6, 2021
5:30 pm • Virtual Cocktail Party
6 pm • Live Broadcast

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