Preserve History

The Ashley Schiff Preserve dates back to 1970, when it was dedicated to Dr. Schiff’s memory.

Formation and Dedication

Resisting administration offers to name a building after their beloved professor, students organized to formulate a more appropriate memorial. They did not have far to look..


Former Sec. of the Interior Stuart Udall


What more fitting memorial to the early scholar of forest management than a forever-wild nature preserve within the campus itself? Support for the proposal grew rapidly, and in a week’s time, President John Toll committed the University to creation of the preserve. Just south of Cardozo College was a large chunk of woodland, untouched by the new Tabler Dorms, and surrounded by nothing but Nicolls Road and the South Loop Road. Dr. Schiff had a tradition of taking new students walking there each September. He loved the forest.

President Toll exclaimed: “…today we dedicate a wilderness preserve to the memory of Ashley Schiff, where future generations at Stony Brook can learn to share his appreciation of nature. …. Of all the tributes we might pay him, I believe this is the one that would have touched him most, and best carries


Former Stony Brook President John S. Toll


forward his special contributions to Stony Brook”. In 1970, the Ashley Schiff Nature Preserve was dedicated at a public ceremony by the former United States Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall. It was plotted and surveyed (28.2 acres), and identifying signs were placed that asked visitors to “Take Only Photos, Leave Only Footprints”.

For more information, read:

Prof Schiff College Master Dies – The Statesman, 3 Oct. 1969

Natural Sanctuary to Honor Dr SchiffStony Brook Review, Oct. 1969

and other documents in our Archive.