Rewarding Innovation, Fueling Momentum: Stony Brook Celebrates 40 Under Forty Honorees

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Members of the 40 Under Forty Class of 2016 with Stony Brook President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. (back row, center right) and Stony Brook Alumni Association President Robert Stafford ’72, ’82 (back row, center left).

Members of the 40 Under Forty Class of 2016 with Stony Brook President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. (back row, center right) and Stony Brook Alumni Association President Robert Stafford ’72, ’82 (back row, center left).

Stony Brook University’s more than 175,000 alumni are a relentless group of innovators who are determined to make a difference. Perhaps none more so than those honored during the third annual 40 Under Forty celebration on January 31.

Representing bio-entrepreneurs, professional athletes, acclaimed authors, journalists, politicians, lawyers, researchers, healthcare providers and teachers, scientists, veterans, activists and more, these remarkable Stony Brook grads have produced the latest big ideas in their respective fields.

More than 200 alumni, former honorees, family and friends joined Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. to celebrate the event at THREE SIXTY° in New York City.

“You are an essential part of what distinguishes Stony Brook University,” President Stanley expressed to the honorees. “You have demonstrated excellence in your chosen professions, and I offer all of you my congratulations. You truly personify the power of a Stony Brook degree.”

It’s that same power that guest student speaker Kwabena Bame Busia ’17, senior in economics, has tapped into to achieve his own dreams. But it didn’t come easy. “During the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, my mother’s construction company and grocery shop were on the verge of collapse,” said Busia. “I dropped out of high school to run her business for four years.”

Despite a 90-hour work week, Busia managed to earn a GED and study for his SAT, eventually gaining admission to the University. “Stony Brook has pushed me, like it did so many of you, to step out of my comfort zone,” he said. “It’s one of the greatest things you can ever do for yourself.” With continued commitment and hard work, he vowed to sit with a future grouping of 40 Under Forty honorees.

Included in the 40 Under Forty Class of 2016 is Purple Heart recipient Jophiel Philips ’05; Eboné Carrington ’01, Harlem Hospital’s youngest-ever CEO; Adrian Carrasquillo ’09, White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News; inventor Katarzyna M. Sawicka ’04, ’05, ’14; and Dan McCloskey ’00, ’03, honored by President Barack Obama with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

“People like you — who go on to do great work in the world and live a life characterized by our University’s mission — are the most creative and bold young professionals,” said Stony Brook Alumni Association President Robert Stafford ’72, ’82. “I’m so proud to call you my fellow alumni.”

For the full list of this year’s and past years’ honorees, visit Stony Brook’s 40 Under Forty website.

Each year the University solicits nominations of alumni age 40 and under who are making exceptional contributions in their respective professions or in their communities and who reflect the impact of a Stony Brook degree. For more information, visit stonybrook.edu/40underforty.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Jordan Chapman

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