Stony Brook University hosted its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 19, for all 2023 graduates. The ceremony conferred more than 7,830 degrees, including 4,895 bachelor’s degrees, 2,115 master’s degrees, 580 doctoral and professional degrees and 240 certificates.
“Over one third of our graduates are the first in their families to attend college,” SBU President Maurie McInnis, pictured below right, told the 2023 graduating class. “These students are making a significant step not only towards their own future, but the future of their families and their communities.”
McInnis welcomed guest speakers, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Merryl Tisch, board of trustees chair for the State University of New York system.
Schumer encouraged graduates to be bold and seize the opportunities before them.
“Sitting in your seats, you may not be sure of what’s coming next with so much of the world changing so fast around you,” he said. “The key is not to fear the unknown. Embrace it. Relish it. Soak up every possibility it has to offer. Cast aside your fears and your doubts. So, my advice to the class of ‘23 is simple: go for it.”
Elected officials also in attendance included New York State Senator Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk); New York State Assembly members Ed Flood (R-Port Jefferson) and Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead); and Suffolk County Legislators Sam Gonzalez (D-Brentwood), Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) and Jason Richberg (D-West Babylon).
Members of the Stony Brook Council were also in attendance, including Kevin Law; Village of Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant; Chris Hahn; Reverend Michael Smith; and Frank Trotta.