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Stony Brook University

SBU: History and Timeline

Information and Resources about the History of Stony Brook University.

Timeline: 1970-1974

The first four Health Sciences Center (HSC) Schools open: Allied Health Professionals, Social Welfare, Nursing, and Basic Sciences begin classes in temporary facilities. 

Dr. Tobias Owen joins the Earth and Space Sciences faculty. Dr. Tobias was a member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration space mission imaging science teams for flights to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

The Urban and Policies program is established.

First Stony Brook People is published. 

The Stony Brook Union opens after long construction delays.

Plans progress for design of physical structures. Recommendations call for a 1.3 million square-foot space complex to include space for the five schools, library, lecture halls and auditoriums, administration offices, physical plant, communications and a 500-bed hospital.

The University Construction Fund selects architect Bertrand Goldberg. The project is split into construction phases: first, HSC; second, University Hospital; third, Basic Sciences Tower. Projected cost for each phase, exclusive of equipment, is $60-80 million.

In April, construction begins on the Health Sciences Center.

Construction on the hospital stalls due to skepticism for the need and financial losses incurred by hospitals connected with SUNY Downstate and Upstate.

September [HSC]: A total of 11 temporary buildings are ready for occupancy on South Campus, on an undeveloped area south of the HSC campus on the west side of Nicolls Road to house students for the five schools of the Health Sciences Center.

[HSC]: Faculty and staff of 64 welcome a total of 43 students to first classes.

The fifth of six HSC Schools opens: the School of Medicine. 

The Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, named in honor of Ward Melville’s father, opens after a major expansion project.

On September 15, students hold an Attica rally. 

The Empire State College is founded to offer “Alternative instruction directed toward serving adults through individual and independent study.”

The last of the six HSC Schools opens: the School of Dental Medicine opens with 24 students chosen from 1600 applicants. 

Leah Holland (’76), the first woman on a SUNY Stony Brook swimming team, becomes the first woman to win a medal in the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Swimming Association Championships.

The State Legislature approves $9,947,000 for Phase I for the Fine Arts Center, estimated to cost $15 million. 

The Stony Brook Playhouse first opens at the Slavic Cultural Center in Port Jefferson, later moving its summer schedules to the Fine Arts Center in 1976.

The Institute of Advanced Studies of World Religions moves to the Library. C.T. Shen, chairperson of the board of the American Steamship Company, founded it in 1970. 

Students march to the Smithaven Mall and join the National Strike protesting the bombing of Hanoi.

On September 7, students hold a demonstration against the Department of Defense. 

[HSC]: J. Howard Oaks is appointed second Vice President for the Health Sciences.

[HSC]: Dr. Marvin Kuschner, founding director of the Department of Pathology, is appointed the Dean of Medicine.

[HSC]: Edmund Pellegrino accepts position as chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Memphis.

Ground is broken for hospital construction.

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accreditation report recognizes SUNY Stony Brook’s “spectacular achievement in so quickly becoming an institution of national stature.”

In the fall, the Graduate Chemistry building and the Math Tower open; the total number of buildings is 76. 

Construction begins on the new Health Sciences Center. The HSC complex is designed by Bertrand Goldberg Associates, whose architectural designs include the Marina City Towers in Chicago.

Stu Goldstein (’73) becomes SUNY Stony Brook’s first All-American athlete, earning honors in squash. 

Classes begin in September with 12,000 students and 830 faculty members.

After much negotiating by Pellegrino and the Bureau of Budget, the hospital design is settled at 504 beds.

Edmund Pellegrino departs Stony Brook.

[HSC]: 1973-78 Construction of hospital begins and continues despite steel strikes, construction strikes and funding concerns.

Graduate Biology is renamed the Life Sciences Building, and opens housing three departments of the Division of Biological Sciences and several departments of the Health Sciences Center School of Basic Health Sciences. 

Several new organizations are established on campus. The Mid-Career Counseling Center is founded by Professor Alan Entine; The Museum Computer Network is relocated to SUNY Stony Brook from the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan; and SAINTS (Scientific Achievements for Non-Traditional Students).

[HSC]: HSC graduates its first class of 17 doctors.

[HSC]: The School of Medicine gains reaccreditation and receives praise from the Liaison Committee for Medical 
Accreditation for its success. It also receives permission to increase its entering class from 24 to 48 students. The schools and the construction of the medical center are greatly supported by Governor Hugh Carey.