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Physicists as President of SBU:

John Toll

In 1965, Dr. John S. Toll, a Princeton-trained physicist and former professor and chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maryland, became the second president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. By the time he left, the school of 1,800 students had been built to one of 17,000 students and, in addition to arts and sciences and engineering, he added schools of public affairs, medicine, dentistry, nursing, allied health professions, basic health sciences, and social work.

Dr. Toll recruited elite researchers and scholars, including Nobel Prize recipient Dr. C.N. Yang, to develop competitive academic departments. Dr. Yang was chosen as the University's director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics in 1966. For his contributions to the University, Dr. Toll was listed among '100 Who Shaped the Century' by Newsday.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in physics with highest honors from Yale University in 1944 and serving in the Navy during World War II, Dr. Toll completed his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton, where he helped to establish Project Matterhorn, now known as the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. In 1953, he joined the University of Maryland faculty and served for thirteen years as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


T. Alexander Pond

1978-1979: Dr. T. Alexander Pond, Executive Vice President, Acting President.










John H. Marburger III

In 1980, John H. Marburger III became the third president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a position he held until 1994 when he became University Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at the university. Marburger's presidency at Stony Brook coincided with the opening and growth of University Hospital and the development of the biological sciences as a major strength of the university. During the 1980's federally sponsored scientific research at Stony Brook grew to exceed that of any other public university in the northeastern United States.

He earned a B.A. in physics from Princeton University (1962) and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University (1967).

In 1998, he became director of the Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and president of Brookhaven Science Associates. Between 2001 and 2008 John H. Marburger III has served President George W. Bush as science advisor and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In 2009 he was appointed as Vice President for Research at SBU. He died while still serving the University in 2011.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy
Stony Brook University
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