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Welcome to Fall 2020!

August 6, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and well.

I am writing to personally welcome you to the fall 2020 semester at Stony Brook University. To those of you who are returning from summer break and to those who are new to Stony Brook, like I am, thank you for the perseverance and commitment you’ve shown in weathering these difficult months to finally end up here at the start of this new semester. I hope that you, like me, are ready to learn, adapt, and excel in the weeks and months ahead.

This year has been historic in so many ways. As a society, we have faced unimaginable challenges together and, still, the future remains uncertain. I know that this is not the position you, or any of us, imagined we would be in heading into this fall semester. Yet regardless of the shape that learning, research, and creativity take this year at Stony Brook, we have so much to look forward to. Why? Because of your immense talent and potential. And because during the first half of 2020, I have seen what this university community does in the face of adversity—it pulls together and overcomes. In recent months, I have watched Stony Brook rise up to take on unprecedented challenges and make heroic contributions to the health of our community. I have watched Stony Brook put all of its intelligence and hard work into the task of adapting to the years ahead while retooling its campus for the safety and well-being of its students. I have seen, put simply, the markings of an institution of which we can all be proud.

While the learning environment will be different this year, Stony Brook is committed to making your experience here exceptional, rewarding, and in keeping with our high standards of academic quality and integrity. We have made it our priority to be as transparent and clear as possible in our communications about our fall semester, and all of our planning efforts toward this end have been in line with New York State (NYS) guidelines. We also know that there’s going to be a learning curve for all of us in fall 2020 and we are here to support you with academic advising and tutoring resources, healthcare and counseling services, and much more.

We also know that access to a strong community is part of a world-class education. And though our social landscape and communal activities will be altered in order to accommodate social distancing and online or hybrid learning, we are working tirelessly to reimagine how students connect with faculty and staff, engage in activities, interact with one another, and enjoy the opportunities this large public institution has to offer. We are committed to giving you the best experience possible at Stony Brook this semester and will be working throughout the coming months to introduce new opportunities and experiences for engagement, creativity, school spirit, and, of course, fun!

As I’ve said, this is an understandably daunting time for many. But I want you to know that I am excited to lead Stony Brook through this 2020 academic year and beyond. I have faith and confidence that the same things that have made our University excellent over the past sixty years will enable it to thrive in the years to come. I am eager to learn from all of you as we embark on this journey and build our Stony Brook Strong future together.

Please share your ambitious ideas and voice your views. Stay engaged with faculty, staff, university leaders, and me. We always want to hear about our challenges, explore our opportunities, and envision our future, together.

Wishing you all the best for a healthy, productive start to the fall 2020 semester. Welcome to Stony  Brook!


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Maurie McInnis, PhD