For the love of his alma mater
As a CFO, Randy Borkenstein '87 knows that developing and retaining talent is key to organizational success. For him, the connection to his alma mater isn't complicated.
"I loved going to school at Binghamton," he says. "I established a connection with the school because of terrific memories of the time spent here."
Seeing an opportunity to improve the University, he and his wife, Anita Borkenstein '86, support the Jean-Pierre Mileur Harpur College Faculty Development Fund, which helps Harpur College build and maintain an extraordinary staff of professors.
"Managing a business has taught me to appreciate the value of retaining key employees," he says. "Keeping turnover low is a competitive advantage. The Mileur Fund provides the dean the financial flexibility necessary to develop and retain key faculty members, so they stay longer and positively influence the University culture. That's a tremendous benefit."
Borkenstein says it was TAU (the Tau Alpha Upsilon fraternity) that first taught him to give back through the fraternity's frequent volunteer participation in University Foundation phonathons, cold-calling alumni to ask for donations for the University.
"At TAU phonathons, I learned about the importance of giving and the critical nature of that component of the school's budget," Borkenstein says. "I remember being shocked when I asked someone for $200 and they said 'yes.' It was like 'wow, people really care even though they aren't here anymore.' I learned that lesson when I didn't have any money of my own to give, and now that I can, I love when I'm on the receiving end of those calls and get a chance to surprise today's student-volunteer callers."