Students and Scholarship Donors Connect at Scholarship Celebration

Creating a scholarship does more than just help students pay for college. For Stony Brook University donors, there is a connection with scholarship recipients that goes beyond financial support, opening doors and endless possibilities for their future. And those connections were felt on March 19 during the Scholarship Celebration.

Students mingled with those who supported their scholarships at the Waterview at Port Jefferson Country Club. (Photo by Tyler Mooney)
(Photo by Tyler Mooney)

Excitement and gratitude were palpable at the event, as students mingled with those who supported their scholarships at the Waterview at Port Jefferson Country Club. From biochemistry and engineering to business management and political science, the scholars explained their research, networked and personally thanked their generous donors for the confidence and inspiration their support instilled in them.

“The generosity of our friends serves as an inspiration for these student leaders and philanthropists of tomorrow,” said President Maurie McInnis. “Our bright, talented students are such an inspiration as they prepare to be the next generation of researchers, leaders and experts who will innovate with purpose, curiosity, integrity and excellence.”

From left to right: Arlene Butterklee '82, '84, Marilyn London, Neil Butterklee '80, '82, '91, Manuel London, Thomas Sexton '74, '79 and Margherita (Terry) Sexton '85, '88. (Photo by Kristy Liebowitz)
From left to right: Arlene Butterklee ’82, ’84, Marilyn London, Neil Butterklee ’80, ’82, ’91, Manuel London, Thomas Sexton ’74, ’79 and Margherita (Terry) Sexton ’85, ’88. (Photo by Kristy Liebowitz)

Dimitrios Santiago ’24 spoke at the celebration, explaining how the Ilana Shanks Memorial Scholarship and other scholarships empowered him to focus on his academics and get involved in various campus groups, such as the dean’s advisory board.

“As I get ready to graduate in May with a 4.0 GPA, a member of two honors programs and with an internship at Google, I can truly say that your donations do make an impact on a student’s life,” said Santiago. “The impact that is made allows scholarship recipients to take advantage of all that Stony Brook has to offer.”

Santiago closed his remarks by announcing that he plans to match the scholarship he received. “I want another student’s life to be transformed the same way my life was,” he said.

Scholarship awardee Dimitrios Santiago '24 speaks at the Scholarship Celebration. (Photo by Tyler Mooney)
Scholarship awardee Dimitrios Santiago ’24 speaks at the Scholarship Celebration. (Photo by Tyler Mooney)

For scholarship donors like Seendy Fouron, connecting with the students they support is incredibly rewarding. Seendy, her brother Valery, and his wife Nicole established the Georges E. Fouron Education Legacy Scholarship in honor of their father. Seendy and her father, Georges, attended the celebration together and met alumnus Juliacie Dieuvel ’23, the inaugural recipient of the family’s scholarship. “It was such a pleasure for us to meet Juliacie,” said Seendy Fouron. “Seeing firsthand how my family’s gift directly benefited a Stony Brook graduate who shares the same passion for public education as my father was truly inspiring.”

From left to right: Georges Fouron, alumnus Juliacie Dieuvel ’23 and Seendy Fouron. (Photo by Tyler Mooney)
From left to right: Georges Fouron, alumnus Juliacie Dieuvel ’23 and Seendy Fouron. (Photo by Tyler Mooney)

“Seeing our students share their aspirations with our generous supporters is truly a powerful moment for the Stony Brook community,” said Justin Fincher, vice president for advancement and executive director of the Stony Brook Foundation. “I love witnessing the impact that our friends and alumni have on our scholars and the university’s future.”

For a full photo gallery from the scholarship celebration, click here.

-Christine McGrath

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