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Shirley Strum Kenny
Shirley Strum Kenny, President

President Shirley Strum Kenny's
State of the University
October 10, 2001

This is the hardest State of the University address I have ever had to write. It would not have been difficult on September 10. The incredible successes of last year, in fact, of the last five years, glow—and I was eager to brag about them. But then the tragic events of September 11 exploded. Nothing was or will be the same. And so as we look back on our accomplishments—and there are many— we must also examine how we, as a campus, will change to deal with our irreparably altered future. We have come so far so fast.

We have so much to be proud of. Last May we heard the good news—two research universities, Stony Brook and Texas A&M, were asked to join the Association of American Universities (AAU), the invitation-only organization of the best universities in the country. It had been five years since the AAU had accepted any new members. Our invitation signified that we had reached the top echelon of American universities—and we did it in just 40 years, a truly remarkable trajectory. We've done a number of other amazing things this year:

We had the highest enrollments ever, easily topping 20,000; our SAT scores improved yet again, as we increased enrollments; we were elected to the America East athletic conference, a great accomplishment for our entry into Division I. We were awarded a Center of Excellence from the Governor, a GENYSIS award from the Senate, and a NYSTAR grant, the three totaling $65 million in research funds—in addition to researchers grants from NSF, NIH, the Whitaker Foundation, and other national sources. And we are about to launch our first-ever Capital Campaign.

When I reread my inaugural address recently, I was pleased, and a little astonished, to see that all the improvements I said should be accomplished by 2002 have already been accomplished—with a few extras like taking over management of Brookhaven National Laboratory and joining the AAU. We also successfully achieved the goals of our first five-year plan, and now we have launched our second. Our physical plant has been greatly improved and bit by bit we will continue to develop it. SUNY Stony Brook Home Page Page 1 page 2 speech file

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