And we sure did have a lot to celebrate this year. Our beautiful and dramatic new venue, Cipriani 42nd Street, provided the perfect backdrop for this wonderful event. We were fortunate to celebrate two honorees, each of them extraordinary in their own right — Stony Brook alumnus John Hennessy, MS ’75, PhD ’77 and His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.
John Hennessy is the ultimate example of how far a Stony Brook education can take you. He was broadly considered one of Stanford University’s most transformative leaders and has carried on his commitment to building a more socioeconomically diverse student body through his Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, the world’s largest fully endowed graduate scholarship program.
Outside academia, John has made groundbreaking contributions to the world of computing, including developing the technology that is now used in virtually all computer chips. He continues to alter the course of computing as chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., and is on track to making information accessible to everyone everywhere.
Prince Albert II has been an inspirational world leader in ocean conservation and a guardian of the planet for nearly two decades, both through his foundation and as the Sovereign Prince of the Principality of Monaco. As head of state, he guides sustainable policies implemented by his government for the principality to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
Prince Albert II launched the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation in 2006 to limit the effects of climate change, promote renewable energy, preserve biodiversity and improve universal access to clean water. In the 16 years since, his foundation has awarded over $1 billion in grants to several environmental organizations. He is literally saving the world.
Like our esteemed honorees, the 540 guests at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala represented the absolute best of the Stony Brook community — a community of compassion, brilliance, tirelessness, philanthropy, distinction and profound excellence.