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Stony Brook University

SBU: History and Timeline

Information and Resources about the History of Stony Brook University.

Watch the film "Stony Brook's First Alumni: Reunion and Reflections"

Stony Brook University: An Overview

Stony Brook, a comprehensive university center in New York State’s public higher education system, emerged from humbler beginnings as a small, teacher preparatory college in Oyster Bay only fifty years ago.  The Board of Trustees of the State University of New York issued their recommendation for the establishment of a new state-supported and operated college on Long Island on April 15, 1955.
First graduation ceremony at Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, New York, 1961.

After two years of careful deliberations and intensive planning, SUNY announced the opening of the State University College on Long Island. The Board of Regents authorized William Robertson Coe's exquisite 350-acre former arboretum-estate, Planting Fields, as a temporary campus, while a new campus was prepared in historic Stony Brook, on a 480-acre tract of land donated by philanthropist Ward Melville. The first day of classes commenced on September 17, 1957.

One hundred and forty-eight students were enrolled in classes at the tuition-free, State University College on Long Island at Oyster Bay. More...