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Coe Hall, Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, New York: exterior, circa 1961 (first campus of Stony Brook University) (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Coe Hall, Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, New York: exterior, circa 1961 (first campus of Stony Brook University) (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

The State University College on Long Island held its first classes on September 17, 1957, on the grounds of Planting Fields, the majestic 350-acre former estate of benefactor William Robertson Coe (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

The State University College on Long Island held its first classes on September 17, 1957, on the grounds of Planting Fields, the majestic 350-acre former estate of benefactor William Robertson Coe (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Commencement, Stony Brook University, 1963 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Commencement, Stony Brook University, 1963 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Coe Hall, Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, New York: gardens, circa 1961 (first campus of Stony Brook University) (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Coe Hall, Planting Fields, Oyster Bay, New York: gardens, circa 1961 (first campus of Stony Brook University) (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Fine Arts Plaza, Stony Brook University, 1980 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Fine Arts Plaza, Stony Brook University, 1980 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Commencement, Stony Brook University, 1963 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Commencement, Stony Brook University, 1963 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

William Robertson Coe's exquisite arboretum-estate, Planting Fields, was authorized as a temporary campus, while SUNY's newest campus was under construction in the charming village of Stony Brook, on a 480-acre tract of land donated by philanthropist Ward Melville. The magnificence of Stony Brook University's first campus inspired one newspaper to name it "The Nation's Most Beautiful College Campus." (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

William Robertson Coe's exquisite arboretum-estate, Planting Fields, was authorized as a temporary campus, while SUNY's newest campus was under construction in the charming village of Stony Brook, on a 480-acre tract of land donated by philanthropist Ward Melville. The magnificence of Stony Brook University's first campus inspired one newspaper to name it "The Nation's Most Beautiful College Campus." (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Let it snow....Melville Library, Stony Brook University, 2003 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Let it snow....Melville Library, Stony Brook University, 2003 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Stony Brook Union opens in 1970 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

Stony Brook Union opens in 1970 (credit: University Archives, Stony Brook University).

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