flashback title with old photos

Birth of the Seawolves

SB Patriots jacketJuly 1, 1994 marks an auspicious occasion in Stony Brook history, the birth of the Seawolf.

In an effort to create an exciting new team identity in line with our move to the Division I level, then-Stony Brook President John H. Marburger III proclaimed a new team nickname: the Seawolves in February of 1994. The Stony Brook Patriots officially became the Stony Brook Seawolves on July 1. A year later, Wolfie, our new mascot, made his glorious debut.

During the late 1950s, when the Stony Brook campus was located in Oyster Bay, the University’s teams were known as the Soundsmen. From 1963 through 1966, the athletic teams competed as the Warriors. Next, we became the Stony Brook Patriots/Lady Patriots in 1966, and held that name for nearly 30 years until 1994, when after a campus wide vote, the decision to become Seawolves was made.

original basketball team Stony Brook University

Another major milestone in 1994 was the arrival of Stony Brook’s first woman president, Shirley Strum Kenny. She was also the first president not to be named John. She officially began her duties at Stony Brook on September 1.

Kenny was a professor of English and came to Stony Brook after a successful run as the president of Queens College/CUNY. She strengthened the core academic and research operations of the University, fostered close links with business and industry, and established new working relationships with the Long Island community. Kenny launched and chaired the Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University with funding from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

But perhaps her greatest legacy was the makeover of the Academic Mall and the space in front of the Staller Center (which had been a cement pit with some benches and odd sculptures), turning it into a welcoming space with fountains, flowers and areas to gather, such as the Staller Steps.


Shirley Strumm Kenny Shirley Strumm Kenny and Wolfie