University Advancement reported that it raised $82,009,774 in gifts and pledges for the 2013 fiscal year. (BRIDGET DOWNES / THE STATESMAN)
University Advancement reported that it raised $82,009,774 in gifts and pledges for the 2013 fiscal year. (BRIDGET DOWNES / THE STATESMAN)

The State of New York provides Stony Brook University with less than 18 percent of its annual operating budget.  Stony Brook relies heavily on philanthropic funding, according to the University Advancement website.

According to the Giving USA 2014 report, between 2012 and 2013, nationally, education experienced the largest increase in donations by 8.9 percent to total $52.07 billion. In 2013, 16 percent of charitable donations went to education and 80 percent of high-net worth households donated to education.

The Stony Brook Foundation is a private nonprofit corporation with the mission to fundraise and manage private funds in order to further the objectives of Stony Brook University. The foundation has raised over $718 million since its inception in 1965.

University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. establishes fundraising priorities with the deliberation of with his cabinet, deans, key faculty and the foundation’s board of trustees.


Net assets for the Stony Brook Foundation jumped from $190,296,094 for fiscal year 2010-2011 to $332,698,065 for 2011-2012, according to the foundation’s website. There has also been a steady increase for 2012-2013, with net assets amounting to $383,491,118.

Dexter A. Bailey serves as executive director of the Stony Brook Foundation as well as the senior vice president of university advancement.

The Office of University Advancement is responsible for obtaining charitable donations for Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine. Since 2011, University Advancement has acquired over $329.2 million is philanthropic funding, according to the office website.

The Council for Advancement of Education named the Stony Brook University Office of University Advancement “most improved” and “best overall” in fundraising for 2014.


For the 2013 fiscal year 2013, University Advancement raised $82,009,774 in gifts and pledges, Betsy Craz, the director of advancement communications, said. In fiscal year 2014 Advancement raised $64,751,467, including $4.83 million for student financial aid.

“State funding enables Stony Brook to be a very good university,” Craz said. “But it’s philanthropy over the years that gives us the margin of excellence.”

In 2011 Stony Brook received the largest donation to a SUNY school—$150 million—from Jim and Marilyn Simons. This donation also sparked what is called “The Simons Effect.” The generosity of the Simons motivated others to donate a cumulative additional $50 million as well.

In 2013, Stony Brook received $25 million in matching funds from the Simons Foundation as a part of the Reimagining Stony Brook Challenge Gift. The money will go to the Simon’s Center for Geometry and Physics.

There are three large projects for which the Office University Advancement is currently fundraising: the Children’s Hospital, the Discovery Fund and the new computer science building.


The Children’s Hospital has currently raised $19,553,596 towards its $25 million target, according to the hospital’s website. The Knapp-Swezey Foundation has pledged $2.7 million to contribute to that goal.

The expanded Stony Brook Children’s Hospital will consist of a new 10-level pavilion with a new pediatric intensive care unit, adolescent unit, procedure suite, hematology/oncology unit, medical/surgical units and modern patient and family amenities, new adult critical care and cardiac care units and an expanded imaging department.

The Stony Brook Discovery Fund was founded in 2013 to support research projects, provide funding ahead of grant awards and recruit faculty and students.

The Discovery Fund contributes to the Science Philanthropy Alliance’s objective to annually produce $1 billion in funds within five years. The alliance consists of six foundations in the United States, including the Simons Foundation, and aims to increase private investment in research.

Construction for the new computer science building plans to be completed in 2014. The 70,000-square foot building is set to achieve LEED silver certification, which indicates resource efficient and environmentally responsible buildings.

An anonymous donor has also gifted Stony Brook with $1.9 million to renovate the university’s pool, which has been closed since fall 2012 for impending renovations.


Philanthropy provides funding to programs such as Journalism Without Walls, the Educational Opportunity Program, Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, Athletics and the Walter J. Hawrys Campus Recreation Center. Financial Aid for students is also benefitted by charitable donations.

“The dollars raised from private individuals enables the university to fund exciting new research and also attract and retain the brightest students and faculty,” Craz said.

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