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Stony Brook University Commencement Stony Brook University Commencement

congrats graduates

May 2014


dorothy lichtensteinDorothy Lichtenstein 
Doctor of Humane Letters

Honorary Degree Conferred at the Main Commencement Ceremony

Dorothy Lichtenstein is famous for the extraordinary passion, wisdom and generous commitment she brings to the arts. She is president of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, through which she encourages a broad understanding of contemporary art and culture. As a member of the Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees since 2008, she has been an important patron of the University’s arts programs on the East End of Long Island, in particular the graduate programs in the arts at Stony Brook Southampton and the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center. Her dedication doesn’t stop there. Lichtenstein’s leadership and generosity extend to the University as a whole — from scholarships to students on campus to research about human evolution at the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya. An active participant of the contemporary art scene since the early 1960s, Lichtenstein worked at the pioneering Bianchini Art Gallery in New York City after attending Beaver College. The Gallery, which specialized in emerging pop art, made a splash with its 1964 “American Supermarket” exposition, in which works of then little-known young artists — such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist — were offered for sale in bins. The following year, she edited Pop Art One, which documented the early New York Pop Art Movement in an innovative portfolio design. It was through the “American Supermarket” that she met artist Roy Lichtenstein, whom she married in 1968. After Roy’s death in 1997, she established the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, which currently has 5,200 Roy Lichtenstein works in its catalogue. In recognition of her work supporting the arts, Dorothy Lichtenstein was awarded an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication in 2001. In addition to her commitment to Stony Brook, she has been a trustee of the Parrish Art Museum since 2000, has served on the Leadership Council of the New York Stem Cell Council Foundation and on the Board of Studio in a School, an organization that provides students with a meaningful visual arts experience through partnerships between artists and educators in New York City Schools. Most recently, she curated the first Roy Lichtenstein retrospective in two decades. Because of her contributions to the arts, her commitment to science and stem cell research, her unwavering support of the Long Island arts community, her careful stewardship of the artistic legacy of her husband, Roy Lichtenstein, and her continuing commitment to Stony Brook University, we are honored to bestow upon Dorothy Lichtenstein the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. 

david waltDavid Walt
Doctor of Science

Honorary Degree Conferred at the Doctoral Ceremony

David Walt ’79, the Robinson Professor of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University, has been a leader in the application of micro- and nano-technologies to urgent biological problems. His laboratory at Tufts is world-renowned for its pioneering work in fiber-optic microarray technology, which is used in the detection of infectious diseases, diagnostics for cancer biomarkers and answering fundamental questions on basic biological processes. Walt has received numerous national and international awards and honors for his fundamental and applied work in the field of optical sensors and arrays. Walt’s scientific career began after he graduated from Stony Brook University with his PhD in Chemistry in 1979. After two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he became an assistant professor at Tufts University in 1981, where he has worked ever since, serving for eight years as chair of the Department of Chemistry. He has published more than 250 scientific articles and holds more than 60 patents. Outside his lab, Walt and his organic chemistry and biochemistry students are devoted to bringing the excitement of science to the public through an active program with local schools in which Tufts students help integrate new science into the K–12 curriculum. In 2012 he received a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health. This grant will allow Walt to establish a core sequencing facility for educational purposes, create an entry-level, research-based course for high school students, and continue his longtime focus on outreach to local K–12 students and teachers in the area of science education. In addition to his academic accomplishments, Walt is the scientific founder and director of Illumina Inc., a San Diego-based company and leader in genetic analysis, as well as scientific founder and director of Quanterix Corporation, based in Massachusetts, which is developing a next-generation platform for early disease diagnosis, with particular emphasis on early detection of cancers and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Walt’s contributions to the fields of micro- and nano-technology with biological applications have been truly groundbreaking. The companies that he helped found continue to lead in the practical application of scientific ideas to real-world problems. David Walt is among our most distinguished alumni, and the University is proud to grant him the honorary degree of Doctor of Science. 





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