Southampton campus event part of weeklong celebration of Stony Brook’s new president’s inauguration
Southampton, New York—On October 17, 2021, friends and alumni of Stony Brook University joined faculty and staff on the Southampton campus to celebrate the inauguration of President Maurie McInnis, who became Stony Brook’s sixth president in 2020, and pay tribute to Stony Brook Southampton’s partnership with Long Island’s East End.
“Stony Brook University has always been set on making the world a richer, more dynamic, more creative and healthier place,” said McInnis. “We know that starts right here on the East End.”
Hosted by Stony Brook Foundation Board Chair Rich Gelfond ’76 and Trustee Dorothy Lichtenstein, the reception kicked off a weeklong series of events leading up to McInnis’ October 23 formal inauguration and was attended by Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele. Josephine Smith of the Shinnecock Nation performed the traditional Shinnecock opening blessing.
The evening’s main event was a conversation with College of Arts and Sciences faculty Alfredo Fontanini, chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Katheryn Twiss, associate professor of anthropology. Moderated by Geoffrey Drummond, executive director of the Stony Brook Southampton FoodLab, the lively conversation explored the science and experience of taste and was a prelude to a food and wine tasting experience featuring 13 prominent East End eateries and wineries.
Anne Green ’22, a senior studying environmental design, policy, and planning, welcomed guests and served as the emcee. In her introduction of McInnis, Green heralded the president’s leadership since she joined Stony Brook in August 2020.
“I remember when I first learned that Maurie McInnis would be our president. Without knowing anything about her yet, I was so excited that we would have a woman as our president,” said Green. “Since then, I’m happy to say that there are so many more reasons to admire President McInnis than the simple fact of gender representation in leadership. Joining us in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully keeping our students safe from infection made us a shining star not only on Long Island but in the entire state of New York.”
Under McInnis’ guidance, Stony Brook was able to thrive during one of the most difficult times in recent history, making breakthrough discoveries, providing for the community, and continuing to create growth and opportunity for underrepresented students.
She also has championed several initiatives at Stony Brook Southampton, including the opening of new speech-language pathology facilities and the recent launch of the MFA in television writing, one of the few programs of its kind and the first in the SUNY system.
“Stony Brook was founded to educate a diverse and growing population, to foster innovative healthcare and healthcare education in New York State at a time of critical need, and to provide creativity, growth and opportunity to Long Island,” McInnis added. “There is perhaps no better current example of this mission than Stony Brook Southampton.”
Since 1963, the 84-acre campus has been an oceanfront educational institution, a marine science laboratory, an incubator for the arts and an essential part of the fabric of East End life. When SUNY purchased the property from Long Island University in 2006, it ignited a period of dramatic growth, with modernized and updated dormitories and campus facilities, a new student center and the first LEED Gold Certified library on Long Island, featuring world-class collections and services.
Stony Brook Southampton is also home to the Food Lab, a center for education, enterprise and media incubating informed conversation, communication and business development under the umbrella of food, from farming to nutrition to edible business.