Long Island’s own Stony Brook University held their 55th commencement ceremony on Friday, May 22nd, honoring Billy Joel and Charles B. Wang with honorary degrees; Joel with a Doctor of Music and Wang with a Doctor of Humane Letters.
During his commencement speech, Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., spoke of the value of a Stony Brook degree, noting that Stony Brook University is ranked the #1 public school in the Northeast for return on investment, and emphasized the school’s mission to provide the highest quality education and access top-notch research facilities and faculty. In his speech President Stanley also noted Joel’s generosity towards his home and his school, “Your commitment to your home state is reflected in your countless contributions to New York City and Long Island, including a very generous gift to Stony Brook University of one of your pianos following the loss of ours in a flood – making you truly our Piano Man.”
“I hope that by now you have found what it is you love and I hope that you have learned the skills you need to make what you love your life’s work,” said Billy Joel during his acceptance speech. “I wish for you the stamina to continue that work when you encounter resistance and tough times…if you’re not doing what you love, you’re just wasting your time.” Joel gave this advice to the 6,298 students receiving their degrees from the university during the graduation held at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The University’s newest alumni join more than 155,000 of their forerunners around the globe whose lives and work personify the mission of Stony Brook.
For more information visit www.stonybrook.edu.