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Monday, April 3, 2017

SBU to give Michael J. Fox honorary degree

April 3, 2017

Stony Brook University will give actor and philanthropist Michael J. Fox an honorary degree at the 2017 commencement ceremony on May 19 at 11 a.m. Fox was invited to address nearly 6,000 students at the ceremony, according to a spokesman.
Fox will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts, recognizing the international acclaim surround the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
“Michael J. Fox’s commitment to his craft, combined with his unbound, resolute advocacy for Parkinson’s disease research makes him an outstanding candidate for this Honorary Degree,” Stony Brook University President Samuel Stanley Jr., said in a statement.
“Michael has spoken frequently about his predisposition to view challenges, including his own Parkinson’s, through a lens of optimism and humor, so it is highly appropriate for Stony Brook University to recognize his many contributions as they continue to transform the lives of so many, just as our graduates are empowered by their Stony Brook degree to make an equally positive impact on the world,” he added.
Stony Brook is pursuing the cure for Parkinson’s Disease in the Thomas Hartman Center for Parkinson’s Research Center in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior.
Additional honorary degree recipients include conservationist and anthropologist Prince Emmanuel de Merode. He will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters for his service as director and chief warden of Virunga National Park where he has worked on the frontlines of conservation during periods of conflict as well as bringing in significant funding, local enterprise and tourism development.
Programmer, photographer, serial entrepreneur, Stony Brook University alum, and founder and CEO of Shutterstock, Jonathan Oringer (‘96) will receive a Doctor of Science for his contribution to the tech industry for the invention of one of the web’s first pop-up blockers and for creating and building Shutterstock, the global technology company which disrupted the image licensing industry. Shutterstock went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012, nine years after its inception and Jon remains the largest shareholder.
On Thursday, May 18, two scholars will receive Doctor of Science degrees. They include psychology and neurosciences researcher  Arthur “Art” Kramer (‘75) will receive a Doctor of Science for his research and leadership in the areas of cognitive neuroscience and psychology, the aging mind, brain plasticity and human factors.  Kramer is a Stony Brook University alum.
In addition, astrophysicist, astronomer, professor and author Frank Shu will receive a Doctor of Science for his pioneering theoretical work in astrophysics. Shu has provided the world of science with many advances in how the stars are viewed and his ability to look at the galaxies for more than their beauty alone has impacted students and inspired scholars around the world.
All of the honorary degree recipients are invited to speak at the commencement ceremonies.

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