Daniel and Karen Moran
“For me, a ‘70s alum, the notorious ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ turned out to be a bridge to everywhere,” said Dr. Daniel Moran, class of 1979.
Seven years ago, the Shelter Island dentist and former Suffolk County Poet Laureate Dr. Moran wrote to then Stony Brook University president Shirley Strum Kenny about his less than positive undergraduate experience. Dr. Moran was expressive and very candid in his letter. He did, however, note that he had not seen the campus since he graduated and his honesty prompted Dr. Kenny to invite him back to experience its beautiful transformation.
Dr. Moran was so impressed, that he and his wife Karen became generous donors to the University. That same year, Dr. Moran donated his papers to the Special Collections of the University Libraries, as well as facilitating the donations of several other important Long Island artists and poets such as August Mosca, Bob Markell and Graham Everett.
Most recently, the Morans pledged a major gift to the University’s Department of Special Collections. It was a residuary bequest that states the Morans will leave a portion of their estate to the department.
“Special Collections of Stony Brook University Libraries is extremely grateful for the generous and sustained support of Karen and Daniel Moran,” says University Archivist Kristen Nyitray. “Their significant planned gift will facilitate the department's vision to enhance and expand its impact on the educational, research, and entrepreneurial endeavors of Stony Brook University and beyond. It will enable the department to acquire and preserve distinct, one-of-a-kind collections, create study spaces, and develop new exhibitions and programs.”
Moran, who grew up on Long Island in Massapequa, developed a passion for poetry in his teens. He put his passion aside while he attended dental school and after taking it back up again in 1983, gave his first public reading at the famed Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor, NY, in 1988.
His literary achievements over the next 17 years led to his appointment as Poet Laureate by the Suffolk County Legislature in 2005. In 2006, after the publication of an anthology of Suffolk County poets titled The Light of City and Sea, Dr. Moran and Kristen Nyitray organized a reading on campus by 35 of the anthology’s poets, including the Pulitzer Prize winner Louis Simpson, a former Stony Brook faculty member.
When Dr. Moran retired from private practice in 2009, he and Karen moved to Boston where he was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine. There, he twice received the Outstanding Faculty Award from The American Student Dental Association and in 2011 he delivered the school’s Commencement address, advising the graduates, “You will not be remembered by how much you were enriched in your lifetime, but by how many you have enriched and how much.”
In recent years, the Morans volunteer in the Dental Tent at the Special Olympics. Karen works in the kitchen of a Boston homeless shelter for women. With his second retirement at hand, Dr. Moran is proud to say he will probably have a third retirement one day. The doctor, teacher and poet reflects on his family’s gift to Stony Brook and reiterates that gifts of any size can have an impact. “It gives me a great thrill to think that maybe one of my descendants, generations from now, will sit and get to know me by reading my work,” he said, “or that something that I helped establish will benefit someone else and that they can pass it on to the next person.”
The Morans are parents to three children: Lindsay, Ashley and Gregory. They last visited Stony Brook in May 2012 when they proudly attended the commencement ceremony of Gregory who received his bachelor’s in Biological Sciences. In 2013, he also earned a master’s degree in Physiology and Biophysics and hopes to attend dental school someday.
“Life has come full circle in a most remarkable way,” Dr. Moran reflects. “It was time for me to give back for all the things my Stony Brook degree had afforded me in all these years. I am proud to do it. Who knows, maybe one day I will see a grandchild walking up to be handed a Stony Brook degree. Wouldn’t that be quite a thing?” he said.
Is it time for you, too, to give back to Stony Brook? If so, please contact Greg Duyck, Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement, Toll Free at 1-855-728-4438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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