Port Jefferson officially designated as ‘Seawolves Country’

Port Jefferson officially designated as ‘Seawolves Country’

Front, left to right, Chief Deputy to the President and Senior VP for Government and Community Relations Judy Greiman, Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron, President Maurie McInnis, Mayor Lauren Sheprow, CEO and COO of Stony Brook University Hospital Carol Gomes, VP for Student Affairs Rick Gatteau. Back, left to right, Trustees Drew Biondo, Robert Juliano, Stan Loucks and Rebecca Kassay. Photo by John Griffin.

By Nistha Boghra

The Village of Port Jefferson has officially become “Seawolves Country.” 

“In Port Jefferson, we are so lucky to be here as a resource and respite to the 40,000-plus people who work and study on the beautiful and amazing campus 6 miles down the road,” said Port Jefferson Mayor Lauren Sheprow at the Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday, April 24.

Sheprow and the Board of Trustees presented the declaration to prominent representatives from Stony Brook University, including President Maurie McInnis, Vice President for Student Affairs Rick Gatteau, CEO of Stony Brook University Hospital Carol Gomes and Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron.

“We are thrilled that the village has named Port Jeff as Seawolves Country,” Gatteau said. “It speaks to the wonderful partnership with our student body and student affairs team, including opportunities for student employment and internships, and to enjoy entertainment, restaurants and shopping in the downtown area.”

The redesignation of Port Jefferson as Seawolves Country follows a similar 2012 announcement. Signage and banners are to be featured around the village, to the shared sense of Stony Brook pride and reinforce the close relationship between the university and the local community.

Heather Banoub, assistant vice president of community relations at Stony Brook University, expressed similar enthusiasm about the benefits of this proclamation. 

“Declaring Port Jefferson as Seawolves Country will foster the creation of new partnerships and opportunities for Stony Brook students, faculty and staff to enjoy the village,” Banoub said. “It will likewise encourage our neighbors in Port Jefferson to enjoy all the resources offered on our campus — from continuing education to exceptional health care and from athletics to performing arts.”

The decision to declare Port Jefferson as Seawolves Country was made with consideration of the significant presence of the Stony Brook community in the village. More than 500 faculty and staff, along with nearly 250 students, call Port Jefferson home. The relationship between the village and Stony Brook University extends into various areas, including the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, which conducts a majority of its research in Port Jefferson. 

The Port Jefferson Emergency Medical Service is another example of collaboration, where dozens of Stony Brook students volunteer to serve the local community. Additionally, Stony Brook University programs like the Seawolves Outdoor Adventure Program and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes often host activities in Port Jefferson

“The proclamation celebrates the close connection that has developed and flourished between the Village of Port Jefferson, Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine,” McInnis said. “Port Jefferson is home to a large portion of our Stony Brook community, welcoming them to live, learn and discover this special place.” 

Nistha Boghra is a reporter with The SBU Media Group, part of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism’s Working Newsroom program for students and local media.