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A Message from the Dean of the Graduate School

I want to express my profound appreciation and respect for the ways in which the Turner program continues to transform the mission of graduate education at Stony Brook. The values and goals of the Turner Program exemplify institutional, local, and national imperatives for building a diverse community of academic and research professionals who are committed to serving as leaders in scholarship, research, and public service. 

The New York Statewide Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program, coordinated through the SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and named here at Stony Brook after Dr. W. Burghardt Turner, has graduated over 415 underrepresented students from Stony Brook's masters, doctoral, and professional degree programs. Because of their diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, these Turner alumni bring a vital breadth of perspective to their current leadership positions. The Turner program currently supports over 75 graduate and professional degree students at Stony Brook through financial and professional development mechanisms, making it possible for our Turner Fellows to develop their knowledge, talents, and networks in pursuit of academic and professional excellence. 

Members of the Turner Fellowship family have been a part of every graduate program at our University. Their rigorous scholarship contributes to ground breaking discoveries, and their presence and civic engagement strengthens our campus community and helps us recruit and retain students from a variety of ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds. The progress of ideas demands diversity. This is a scientific imperative. 

Having now surpassed the twenty-five year anniversary of the Turner program, we have achieved much, but still strive to reach our ultimate goals. Inequity of opportunity remains a problem, and we must continue to promote fair representation of people from all cultures and ethnicities, especially those who have been historically underrepresented in the academic and research professions. Dr. Turner's ideas have strongly shaped the mission of the Turner Fellowship program, and his accomplishments are all the more poignant when we consider the barriers he faced throughout his career, some of which the Turner Fellowship program and its mission are still working to eradicate. The progress of society demands equality. This is a moral imperative. 

I believe that we all must accept responsibility for remaking our institution, and so I ask for your support for the Turner Program. With your help, we can continue to provide an exceptional opportunity for the best and the brightest to take their places in the research and education workforce and help Stony Brook prepare a competitive global workforce of diverse researchers and scholars for the twenty first century.