INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
‘Tailgate’ draws hundreds
By : Steve Seepersaud
Hundreds of alumni and students got together with faculty, staff and community members at Tailgate ’09, held on Saturday, Oct. 3. The outdoor barbecue, which preceded the men’s soccer game, was the signature event of Homecoming.
Although official attendance figures are not yet available, the crowd appeared to exceed that of last year’s Homecoming tailgate, which was the first ever. Last weekend, the Events Center lot was full, sending spillover cars and tailgaters to adjacent parking areas.
Dan Cherico, a Class of 2008 member, wasn’t able to make it to the inaugural tailgate, but didn’t miss this year’s event.
“I was a big supporter of athletics when I was a student,” Cherico said. “It has carried on now that I’m an alumnus. This event was a great way for me to make sure I saw everybody I needed to see in one place.”
Homecoming also included gatherings for members of special-interest groups and milestone class years. The Class of 1984 was just one of the reunion groups; some who attended hadn’t been back on campus since graduation.
“Homecoming is excellent. Seeing old friends ... it brings you right back to 25 years ago,” said Alex Boukas, a 1984 graduate.
The weekend gave alumni the chance to see how the campus has grown in the years since they graduated.
“It’s a little strange because the campus is a lot different now than when I was here,” said Jennifer Seary, who graduated in 2000.
On Friday, Oct. 2, the Alumni Association presented its annual recognition awards at the Art Museum.
• Alex Huppé, a Class of 1969 graduate, received the Glenn G. Bartle Distinguished Alumnus Award for his commitment to the tradition of academic excellence at the University and Harpur College. He is a member of the Foundation Board of Directors and served on the Alumni Association’s board.
• Michele Boston, a member of the Class of 1972, received the Edward Weisband Distinguished Alumna Award. She is CEO of Boston Health Care Systems, a leader in providing services for people with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and mental illness. She also co-founded the nonprofit No Time for Poverty.
• Helen Fang, a Class of 1994 graduate, received the Alumni Admissions Volunteer Recognition Award. She staffs college fairs and sends e-mail messages encouraging admitted students to attend the University.
• Paul Saunders received the Distinguished Service Award; he and his wife Patricia — a 1965 Binghamton graduate — have provided generous financial support and hosted numerous events for alumni and donors.
• Camille Clare, a member of the Class of 1992, received the Alumni Association Special Recognition Award. She supports the Charles Drew Minority Pre-Health Society, helping organize the group’s reunion earlier this year.