Stars of Stony Brook Gala to Honor Neil deGrasse Tyson on April 29 at Cipriani 42nd Street, NYC

The 25th annual fête will spotlight the astrophysicist for his many contributions to science and raise funds to support scholarships

Neil deGrasse TysonThe Stony Brook Foundation will honor Neil deGrasse Tyson at its 25th annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala on Monday, April 29, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City for his outstanding contributions to not only the advancement and communication of science but also increasing diversity in STEM fields and making science more accessible and relevant to a wider audience. 

“I’m proud and excited to honor Neil at our 25th anniversary gala,” said Richard Gelfond ’76, Stony Brook Foundation chair and CEO of IMAX. “Neil’s intellectual curiosity, accomplishments and unique perspective on the universe are a perfect match for the values of Stony Brook.”

Tyson is an astrophysicist and the author of 17 books, including Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, which spent 82 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, where he has served since 1996.

“The future of civilization pivots on the science literacy of the electorate. And science literacy flows from a sustained curiosity about the natural world and the objective truths on which it is based,” Tyson said. “It is clear that Stony Brook embraces these goals and remains relentless in this pursuit.” 

Proceeds from the April 29 gala will be dedicated entirely to student scholarships. Since its inception in 2000, the Stars of Stony Brook Gala has raised over $68 million to support academic programs and scholarships, significantly impacting students’ lives. 

“Stony Brook’s unique blending of excellence and opportunity enables us to foster a community of the best and brightest minds from diverse backgrounds and experiences,” said Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis. “We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from the generous patrons of our gala, who make it possible for us to continue providing a world-class education for all students to reach and exceed their boldest ambitions.”

Since New York Governor Kathy Hochul named Stony Brook a state flagship in 2022, Stony Brook University has continued to attract attention as one of the country’s leading universities, ranked the No. 1 public university in New York and No. 26 nationwide last year by U.S. News & World Report. Last year’s announcement of the Simons Foundation’s historic $500 million unrestricted endowment gift and the university’s position as the anchor institution of The New York Climate Exchange have further enhanced Stony Brook’s growing reputation.

As with Tyson, research and discovery are central to the Stony Brook University ethos. Stony Brook’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science echoes Tyson’s work with its innovative approach to helping scientists share their work and its impact using applied improvisational exercises and communication strategies. The Alda Center’s faculty and staff are among the nation’s top science communication trainers and scholars, hailing from a variety of backgrounds such as journalism, mass communication, theater, physics and medicine.

Long hailed as a national leader in social mobility, Stony Brook took a tremendous step in 2022 toward broadening the pathway to STEM careers for underrepresented students with the creation of the Stony Brook Simons STEM Scholars Program. With the support of a $56.6 million gift from the Simons Foundation, the program will train the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics leaders by providing scholarships, housing and stipends to 50 new students each year. The first cohort of Simons STEM Scholars joined the university in the fall of 2023.

Neil deGrasse Tyson will join a distinguished roster of scholars, politicians, celebrities and luminaries to be honored at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala. The roster includes Prince Albert II; President Joseph Biden; Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons; President, MJS Foundation, Marilyn Hawrys Simons ’74, ’84; Nobel Laureate C.N. Yang; actors Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Jane Fonda and Ed Harris; IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond ’76; and award-winning conservationist Patricia Wright.

Tyson hosts the beloved TV series Cosmos, a reboot of the original 1980 series hosted by Carl Sagan. He is also the host and cofounder of the popular Emmy-nominated podcast StarTalk and its spinoff StarTalk Special Edition, which combine science, humor and pop culture. Tyson is also a recipient of 23 honorary doctorates, the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from NASA. Asteroid 13123 Tyson is named in his honor.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit stonybrook.edu/gala.   

25th Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala details: 
MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2024
Cipriani 42nd Street, New York City
Cocktails: 6:30 p.m. 
Dinner: 7:30 p.m. 

Related posts

The latest On Social Media

Article Categories

Subscribe to SB Matters