Stony Brook, New York – February 7, 2020 – Stony Brook Foundation is honoring pioneering former faculty member Dr. Barry Coller, Hon.’03 and art historian/educator Bobbi Coller, PhD, at its annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala, Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers. This year’s celebration will recognize the Collers for their remarkable 43 years of service to Stony Brook and their myriad career accomplishments in the fields of education, medical research and the arts.
Since its inception in 2000, the Stony Brook Foundation’s Stars of Stony Brook Gala has raised more than $37 million to support student scholarships and $22 million for academic programs of excellence. Last year’s Gala, honoring Simons Foundation President Marilyn Hawrys Simons,’74,’84, raised $3.2 million for student scholarships.
The Collers will join a distinguished roster of scholars, politicians, celebrities and luminaries who have been honored at the Stars of Stony Brook Gala. Past honorees include Former Vice President Joseph Biden, Nobel Laureate CN Yang; actors Julie Andrews, Alan Alda, Jane Fonda and Ed Harris; Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons; IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond ’76 and award-winning conservationists Patricia Wright and Richard Leakey.
“Barry and Bobbi are two of the most genuine and philanthropic people I know,’ begins Stony Brook Foundation Chair Richard Gelfond ’76. “They are individuals who have both excelled mightily in their chosen fields and bettered the lives of so many, as both educators and financial benefactors to initiatives and scholarships championed by the Stony Brook Foundation.”
Gelfond continues: “Without a doubt, the Collers have played an important role in the ascendancy of Stony Brook to its place as New York’s top public research university. It gives me great pride to announce them as this year’s honorees, and I look forward to celebrating with them and our entire Stony Brook family on March 11 at Pier Sixty.”
Arriving at the University in 1976, just five years after the School of Medicine was founded, and four years before Stony Brook University Hospital opened, Dr. Barry Coller’s expertise as a hematologist was important in building the reputation of the University’s medical school and hospital. Most importantly, his landmark research at Stony Brook led to the development of the drug abciximab (best known commercially as ReoPro), which has been used to treat millions of patients with cardiovascular disease.
Currently The David Rockefeller Professor of Medicine, head, Allen and Frances Adler Laboratory of Blood and Vascular Biology; Physician-In-Chief of the Rockefeller University Hospital, and Vice President for Medical Affairs at The Rockefeller University, Dr. Barry Coller was selected to be a member of the National Academy of Medicine Committee on Human Genome Editing, becoming a leading voice in the national conversation on the technical and ethical questions surrounding this powerful new technology. Dr. Coller also serves on the Stony Brook Foundation Board of Trustees for more than 20 years.
Dr. Bobbi Coller has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center since 1998 and has chaired the Board since 2006. This internationally renowned former home and studio of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner is managed by the Stony Brook Foundation.
As chairwoman of the Advisory Board, Dr. Coller helped secure the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center’s endowment, ensuring that the Center’s finances will remain strong for the future. An art historian, independent curator and educator, she has brought her singular vision, energy, and drive to the Pollock-Krasner House – a National Historic Landmark located in Springs, NY – enabling it to fulfill its mission: to preserve and interpret Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner’s living and working environment, promote scholarship, and encourage creativity.
Dr. Coller has curated more than 30 exhibitions at esteemed institutions, including the Smithsonian Institutions’ National Portrait Gallery. She curated two well-received exhibitions for the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center: “The Persistence of Pollock” and “Pollock’s Champions.” She currently serves on the Education Committee of the Guggenheim Museum and as Director and Curator of the OZ Gallery in New York City, and previously served on the advisory council of Stony Brook’s Staller Center for the Arts as well as an adjunct professor at CW Post, Long Island University and guest lecturer at Hofstra University and Stony Brook University.
Together the Collers created and co-teach “The Pulse of Art: Connections Between the History of Art and the History of Medicine.” This unique course, which they teach to medical students and physicians at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, harnesses the power of significant works of art to increase their observation skills and empathic responses to patients, as well as their understanding of the sweep of medical history.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit stonybrook.edu/gala
21st Annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala details:
WEDNESDAY March 11, 2020
Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, New York City
Cocktails 6:30 pm / Dinner 7:30 pm – Business attire
Stony Brook University, widely regarded as a SUNY flagship, is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students and 2,500 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty has earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.
The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs.
Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $6.4 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.
Established in 1965, the Stony Brook Foundation is a private 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. It exists to advance the goals and strategic plan of Stony Brook University by raising and managing private funds on the University’s behalf. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over $1 billion in gifts and employs best practices and procedures to ensure all gifts to the University are wisely invested and distributed consistent with each donor’s expressed intent.
Philanthropy that supports Stony Brook University’s programs and builds its endowment has never been more important given the well-documented decline in state funding for public higher education. Although New York State is more generous to its state university system than those of other states, it funds less than 18 percent of Stony Brook’s annual operating budget.