In Memoriam: David L. Ferguson, 1949-2019

David L. Ferguson, department chair and Distinguished Service Professor of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University of the State University of New York System, died on July 12 after suffering a heart attack. He was 69 years old.

Dr. Ferguson held a joint faculty appointment in applied mathematics and statistics. He joined the faculty at the university in 1981. During the past decade, Professor Ferguson took a significant leadership role in developing the campus diversity plan and in serving as a Provost’s Scholar for Diversity and Inclusion.

Dr. Ferguson was a native of Pascola, Missouri, where he was the eleventh of 12 children in his family. In 1967, he was the first African American valedictorian of this high school in Neelyville, Missouri. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. Dr. Ferguson held a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a doctorate in mathematics and science education from the University of California, Berkeley.

David L. Ferguson Memorial Scholarship has been established by Stony Brook University in his honor. The scholarship will be awarded to a student majoring in technology and society in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

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  1. Dr. Ferguson was not only a great professor but a great person and advocate for everyone at Stony Brook. He will be missed.

  2. David L. Ferguson was truly a dedicated educator. He encouraged and advocated for family, students, colleagues and friends. Never forgotten!

  3. Dr. Ferguson was not only a great professor but a great person and advocate for everyone.

    Whenever I pass a traffic light while I am in hurry, I was thinking about Dr. Ferguson had told me “don’t try to catch the red light, you may save a minute but it may cost a big issue.”

    “Everyone has their own issues to deal with, try to not let things bother you. The only big deal is, loss of your loved one.” A great lesson from Dr. Ferguson.

    Dr. Ferguson, you are never forgotten!

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