Life’s Most Defining Chapters

By David Mauer ’69

Most people today won’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about when I mention Operation Stony Brook, but that’s what the Suffolk County Police Department named the notorious drug bust of 40 students by 198 police officers early on the morning of January 17, 1968.  Thankfully, I was an innocent bystander but that event was one of many that would change the trajectory of my life during my time at SBU from 1965 to 1969.

There was a heavy amount of drugs on campuses everywhere, but culture wars, The Beatles phenomenon, opposition to the Vietnam War, and protests of all kinds left such an indelible impression on my life that it inspired me to write a book about it.

Although I majored in economics and went on to head several national corporations, I started writing the book 40 years ago, probably in an attempt to sort out all the feelings and experiences I’d had in college.  But marriage, kids, career and life got in the way and I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.  Looking back on it, I’m kind of glad I didn’t because when I was finally able to return to the story it highlighted the many parallels it shares with the political and social challenges we face today.  And although it’s scary it’s also kind of comforting to know that we’ll get through this.

I titled it “Every Thing Is Possible” because that’s been a central theme in my life.

My time at SBU changed my life in ways I never thought possible, and I thought with any luck, anyone who reads my book would be inspired to change theirs.

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