Stony Brook University will award musician Billy Joel, Islanders owner Charles Wang and Ben Shneiderman, a computer scientist who pioneered the hyperlink, with honorary degrees at its 55th commencement ceremony next month, university officials said Monday.
The three men will be presented with their degrees alongside 6,298 undergraduate and graduate students in the university's LaValle Stadium on May 22.
"This is a remarkable distinction for the class of 2015, to be joined in their celebration by such a highly accomplished trio," Stony Brook University president Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said. "It shows our new alumni how much can be achieved with vision, dedication and perseverance."
Joel, 65, of Oyster Bay, will receive a doctor of music. The six-time Grammy Award winner has donated two grand pianos to the university's music department -- once in 1993 and another in 2013 to replace one damaged in a flood.
Wang, 70, also of Oyster Bay, will get a doctor of humane letters. The co-founder of Computer Associates International and owner of the New York Islanders built The Charles B. Wang Center, a $52 million Asian cultural hub on the Stony Brook campus, in 2002.
Shneiderman, 67, of Bethesda, Maryland, will be awarded a doctor of science degree. He earned a doctorate from Stony Brook's computer science department in 1974.
Shneiderman developed the highlighted textual link in 1983 that became part of HyperTIES, a PC-based system that was a precursor to the Web. He was also involved in the innovation of the high-precision touch screen in the early 1990s.
"I am pleased to receive this honor from one of the finest computer science departments in the country and my home base. It is a wonderful satisfaction to come back after 42 years and get this," said Shneiderman, currently a distinguished professor and founder of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland. Earlier in his career, he was an instructor at Stony Brook and Farmingdale State University.
When asked if he ever thought he'd be recognized along with Joel and Wang, Shneiderman said:
"I love it. We're a delightful blend of characters and personalities."