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Why Does Mary Messina Remmler Give?

Stella Tsirka Mary Messina Remmler '88, '93, Assistant Provost for Finance has called the Brook her home for more than 27 years: first as an undergraduate student, followed by pursuing her graduate degree, and then as an employee. Mary has invested much of her time and energy into helping create the Stony Brook University of today. Now she is investing in several University programs through the faculty and staff giving campaign.

"I contribute to programs on campus for three basic reasons: humanitarian, investment and simply, because I am inspired to," Mary said. Over the years, Mary has donated to Stony Brook's Staller Center, Southampton Graduate Arts Program, Italian Studies Center, and Turkana Basin Institute. "New discoveries, getting people to understand them and the impact of these discoveries are the fastest way to change the world. Imagine being a part of that. Understanding how these fit in with arts and culture and how they can thrive together is also important to me," she said.

Mary points out that the Staller Center, which offers world-class performances during the academic year and a film festival every July, through its commitment to community and student access, is "one of the under-appreciated gems of Stony Brook." She also gives to the Southampton Graduate Arts Program, Stony Brook Southampton’s summer program with workshops in creative writing, visual arts, and theatre and film, because, in her opinion, it is one of the "most inclusive, forward-thinking and motivating" programs at the University.

As an Italian-American, Mary appreciates the opportunity to honor her Italian heritage by supporting the Center for Italian Studies and its many cultural events. In her words, "the Center is always planning something to educate Long Island about the invaluable role Italian-Americans play and have played in helping to build this region."

Mary enjoys giving to The Turkana Basin Institute (TBI), a collaborative, international, multidisciplinary project that facilitates research in the Turkana Basin of Northern Kenya, because of its unique relationship among research, education and community building. She notes, "TBI sees these missions as integrated and interdependent, and the success of their approach is evident in the quality of research, education of increasing numbers of undergraduates at their field school."

According to Mary, "We have an unprecedented opportunity to expand in a thoughtful, meaningful way in the next several years that will shape the next decades at Stony Brook. I will be able to say that I devoted my time, my scarcest resource, and of course, my money, to help shape Stony Brook University, the future of Long Island, and to some extent, the world."

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