Stony Brook University honored Dorothy Lichtenstein at its 19th annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala, hosted by the Stony Brook Foundation, on April 11, at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers. Nearly 700 guests attended the event.
Lichtenstein was recognized for her support of university arts and cultural programs. This year’s gala hit a new fundraising record, with more than $7.1 million raised, including a $5 million donation from Lichtenstein earmarked to support Stony Brook Southampton’s creative writing and film programs and a variety of scholarships and educational initiatives.
Lichtenstein, a resident of Southampton and New York City, is an active advocate for the arts programs at Stony Brook Southampton University and at Stony Brook’s Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in Springs, the home and studio of artists Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.
She serves as president of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, established after her artist husband’s death in 1997. The foundation provides access to the work of Roy Lichtenstein and work from artists of his time. Roy, who originated the Pop Art movement, is one of the most influential artists of the late-20th Century.
Dorothy was saluted by a group of luminaries in the arts and media, led by CBS newswoman Jane Pauley and her husband, Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who created special art for the gala’s invitation and program.
IMAX CEO and Stony Brook Foundation chair and gala co-chair Rich Gelfond, and his wife, Peggy, foundation chair Emeritus Jim Simons, Stony Brook University president Dr. Samuel Stanley, Jr, and author and Stony Brook Professor Roger Rosenblatt celebrated Lichtenstein’s contributions in delivering their speeches.
Renowned authors and visiting professors including Amy Hempel, Patty Marx, Melissa Bank, Cornelius Eady, Susan Minot, and Emma Walton Hamilton were at the event, along with Killer Films’ Christine Vachon, producer of 60 films including Boys Don’t Cry. Actor Alec Baldwin, actress Mercedes Ruehl, and celebrity chef Carla Hall were among those who toasted the honoree in a video played during the dinner.
Ruehl stated, “This film program is first class, competitive with Columbia and NYU. And through it alone, Dorothy is leaving a large footprint on the culture of our times.”
“We’d be nowhere without Dorothy Lichtenstein. We offer her the greatest thanks for her support,” offered Baldwin, who has conducted master classes at Stony Brook Southampton theater conferences.
Since its inception in 2000, the Stony Brook Foundation’s Stars of Stony Brook Gala had raised $50 million to support student scholarships and a featured academic program of excellence.