Binghamton University announces honorary degree recipients

2009-05-04

BINGHAMTON, NY -- Binghamton University, State University of New York, will award two honorary doctorates and hear from U.S. Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-N.Y.) at Commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 16 and 17 in the Events Center.

Honorary doctorates will be awarded to two Binghamton University alumni on Sunday, May 17: Lawrence J. Schorr, a respected attorney, business leader and philanthropist, will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws and speak at the 8:30 a.m. Harpur College ceremony, and Mario J. Paniccia, an Intel fellow and director of the Photonics Technology Lab, Corporate Technology Group for Intel Corp., will receive the honorary Doctor of Science and speak at the 3:30 p.m. Harpur College ceremony.

Hinchey will be the guest speaker at the noon ceremony for the professional schools.

Lawrence J. Schorr

After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Binghamton, Lawrence J. Schorr continued his education at Syracuse University, receiving his juris doctorate in 1981. He began practicing law that year at Levene, Gouldin and Thompson LLP as a corporate lawyer and became a partner in 1985. In 1988, he left the firm to become president of Resource Recycling Technologies, Inc., an American Stock Exchange company that he sold to a NYSE Fortune 500 company in 1995. Schorr then became president of a privately held group of plastics manufacturing companies and in 2004 acquired and became chief executive officer of Ohio-based Boltaron Performance Products LLC, a large PVC plastic sheet manufacturer. In 2000, while still running the plastics company, Schorr returned to Levene, Gouldin, Thompson to become its administrative, then managing partner in 2007. He now serves as special counsel.

A staunch supporter of Binghamton University, Schorr is chair of the Binghamton University Foundation, vice president of the Binghamton Forum and a Binghamton University Athletic Club board member. He is a member of the Harpur College Advisory Council and supports faculty and their research through the Harpur College Faculty Development Fund and the School of Management Faculty Development Fund. He also serves on the Broome Community College Foundation Board of Directors, chair of the board of the Goodwill Theater, as an officer of the Southern Tier Opportunities Coalition and as a board member of Metro-Interfaith Housing.

He and his wife, Jennifer Brink Schorr MBA ’81, former Binghamton University registrar and current special assistant to the provost, are generous philanthropists to the University and the Binghamton community at large.

Mario J. Paniccia

Mario J. Paniccia earned a bachelor of science degree in physics from Binghamton University in 1988 and a doctorate in solid state physics from Purdue University in 1994. With more than 65 patents issued or pending, he now directs a research group for Intel Corp., developing silicon-based photonic building blocks for future use in enterprise and data center communications.

Paniccia has worked in many areas of optical technologies during his career at Intel, including optical testing for leading-edge microprocessors, optical communications and optical interconnects. His team’s pioneering activities in silicon photonics have led to many firsts, including development of the first silicon modulator with bandwidth greater than 1GHz, in 2004, and then the first at 40Gb/s, in 2007. His team also boasts the first continuous-wave silicon laser breakthrough in 2005, and, together with the University of California at Santa Barbara, the world’s first “Hybrid Silicon Laser” in 2006.

Paniccia has been recognized with numerous awards and in November 2004 was named by Scientific American as one of the top 50 researchers for his team’s work in silicon photonics. In October 2008, Paniccia was named by R&D Magazine as “Scientist of the Year” — an award given to those whose accomplishments rise above the norm — for his team’s pioneering research.

He has published numerous papers, including three that appeared in Nature, three Nature Photonics papers and three book chapters. Paniccia is a senior member of the IEEE, a nonprofit organization that is the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology, and a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA).

Maurice D. Hinchey

Maurice D. Hinchey, in his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing New York’s 22nd Congressional District, is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which allocates funds in the federal budget.

Hinchey serves on its subcommittees on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; and Defense. Hinchey is also a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and one of only 20 members on the bicameral Joint Economic Committee. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Hinchey has been instrumental in garnering support for Binghamton University during his tenure in Congress. Most recently, he played a key role in Binghamton University’s receipt of $4 million in federal funds to support its Center for Autonomous Solar Power. He has also helped garner millions in federal funds to support microelectronics research and advanced sensor design. 

Before his election to Congress, Hinchey served 18 years in the New York State Assembly, including 14 years as chairman of the Committee on Environmental Conservation. He also served on the Ways and Means, Rules, Banks, Health, Higher Education, Labor, Energy and Agriculture committees.

Hinchey enlisted in the U.S. Navy after high school, serving in the Pacific on the destroyer U.S.S. Marshall. After receiving an honorable discharge, he worked as a laborer in a cement plant before enrolling in the State University of New York at New Paltz. He put himself through college working as a night-shift toll collector on the New York State Thruway and went on to earn a master’s degree at SUNY New Paltz.

Hinchey is the father of three children. He and his wife, Allison, make their home in Hurley, N.Y.

 For a complete schedule of Commencement activities, including the Graduate School Commencement at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 16, and numerous recognition ceremonies, visit commencement.binghamton.edu.

Last Updated: 9/17/13