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Welcome to the Fall 2023 Semester

August 28, 2023

Dear Stony Brook Community,

Welcome back to campus! Many of you traveled far and wide: connected with colleagues, performed field research, saw family and friends, and took the space needed to get your best thinking done. And quite a few of you were right here, on campus, continuing your excellent work that keeps a university as complex as ours running.

It’s great to be back together. The beginning of the new academic year seems fitting to remember–and recommit to–what makes this place so special. Earlier I sent a message to students reflecting on how new beginnings–especially at an institution as dynamic as ours–can be intense periods of transition. I hope we can all help them feel at home. This campus prides itself on being a welcoming community for all–a place where diverse opinions, perspectives, and backgrounds are both valued and heard, and where connection is essential to our everyday success. So as you see our students doing the hard—and sometimes daunting—work of connecting with others and building community, please support them. Stop by student organization tabling events next time you’re passing by the Student Activities Center. Support a student fundraiser, of which there are many, often directly helping our community members in need. If you come to cheer on one of our exciting sports teams, chances are good you’ll be cheering alongside Stony Brook’s award-winning mascot, Wolfie. Or, simply, recognize those students that you see are making a difference, because they are the scholars and leaders of the future, and they look up to you.

I know that this is a real responsibility. But you’re here at Stony Brook because you know what it takes to build an institution into the very best possible version of itself. That’s what you’ve done right here: taken a university through COVID and through a budget crisis, participated actively during its strategic planning and budgeting, and delivered it as a flagship university for New York, a leader in climate change, and a pioneer in equitable STEM education with a history-making endowment gift and a lot of ambitious plans for the future.

Over the course of this semester and the next year, you’ll see the rollout of a few initiatives that celebrate your work. Be on the lookout for our new Thank a Seawolf program as well as the upcoming Stony Awards, geared to foster an even deeper sense of appreciation for all that you do. Stony Brook will be working tirelessly to help make our boldest visions a reality and we’ll be joining together to let everybody know: This university’s reach and ambition expand across the globe and even through space and time, but our soul is right here, on campus at Stony Brook.

I want everyone to feel that spirit and energy, and frankly there’s no better time for it than the start of a fall semester. I hope you hold on to that crisp feeling of anticipation as you make your way across campus today. I hope to see you wearing red on Fridays, and welcome back!


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Maurie McInnis