Friday evening's festivities closed with a wine and cheese reception, held outside the Events Center. The event offered an opportunity for conversation and sampling the works of alumni vintners. The Class of 1984 held an early arrivals gathering during the reception; that opened the group's silver anniversary celebration.
Newing alumni held an open bowl event on Saturday morning at Midway Lanes in Vestal. Guests enjoyed two games of bowling, along with donuts and coffee. Edgar Levy '84, helped coordinate the event, which, he says, started as a joke. "Next thing we knew we had people who wanted to bowl," Levy laughed. When asked why he came back for Homecoming weekend, Levy said, "It's very exciting. I realized how much I missed this place and enjoyed my time here." (In photo: Kerry and Walter Wintsch '81, and their daughter)
Saturday afternoon's Founders' Club Luncheon proved to be more than a celebration of the classes of 1958-62. At this year's event, between the warm handshakes and shared memories, President Lois B. DeFleur made a special appearance to share a vision of the future of the University.
"We have to look to the future of higher education and keep moving forward so that our students can be just as successful as you are," said President DeFleur. "You're all so bright and talented."
"We get together on occasion and it brings us up to speed, but it's always a nice experience," said Roderic Reeder '52 of his involvement in the Founders' Club each year. "We enjoy it. Plus we get to tell a few war stories."
As for the changes to Harpur since Reeder's graduation: "We can't find those Quonset huts anymore. It's totally different, but that's okay."
Has the idea of liberal arts been replaced by a pre-professionalism approach in today's college students? That was the topic at a Harpur College panel discussion on Saturday afternoon. Alumni, professors and current students said, even though students are focused on getting jobs or being admitted to professional schools, the liberal arts foundation has tremendous value and gives students the tools they'll need to be successful in the business world.
The future of Binghamton University was on display during Homecoming weekend. Alumni toured the new Bingham Hall during an open house on Saturday. The building is part of the East Campus redevelopment project that will replace all the structures in Dickinson Community and Newing College. Alumni had the chance to see the future plans and place orders for Newing memorabilia.
The Caribbean Student Association hosted a reception on Saturday afternoon, at which alumni and guests enjoyed a buffet and viewed a presentation. The organization hosts fashion shows and other get-togethers throughout the school year. Sujerly Escobar '03 enjoyed visiting campus and attending the reception. "I missed Binghamton," Escobar says. "I live in [New York] city, so being back on a college campus is nice. It’s better than being on vacation."
The Decker of School of Nursing celebrated the achievements of students, as well as the generosity of the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation, in an intimate reception that included loan recipients, faculty, Skelly Foundation Trustee Erik Joh, and University President Lois DeFleur.
"We're so proud of this group," said Joh (pictured with Dean Joyce Ferrario and President DeFleur), on behalf of the foundation. "You've done a lot of wonderful things. Let's not waste that mind, that passion to serve."
Joh, who has worked closely with the University since 1998, shared stories of Miss Skelly, as well as a message of pride in being able to help students faced with financial difficulties.
"They wanted a trustee young enough to remember her as the years went on so that her desires would be continued for as long as possible," said Joh of his appointment. "Gertrude wanted to take care of educational and health care needs for those less fortunate than she was. Nursing really covers both."
Each year, 70 percent of annual gifts on behalf of the Skelly Foundation are made within the areas of health care and education. For the University, these gifts come in the form of an emergency loan program that benefits students faced with crises that could prevent them from completing their degrees.
See more Homecoming 2009 pictures at the Alumni Associaton's photo sharing site.
Last Updated: 11/12/09