Homecoming 2013 celebrates the Binghamton spirit
By Steve Seepersaud
For Eric Fay '88, Harpur's Ferry was an important part of his Binghamton University experience and influenced his career path as a paramedic and captain for New York City's fire department. He relived these memories with friends at the student-run ambulance company's 40th anniversary celebration held during Homecoming 2013. Harpur's Ferry dedicated an ambulance to John P. Pryor '88, MD, who was fatally wounded in Iraq in 2008, while serving his second tour of duty as a combat medic for the U.S. Army Reserve.
"When we went from a van to a box-type vehicle, that was an accomplishment in and of itself," says Fay (at right of photo with fellow Harpur's Ferry alumnus Jeffrey Midgley '04). "I'm struck by how far Harpur's Ferry has come since I left campus."
Fay was one of nearly 700 alumni who returned to campus Oct. 11-13 for the Alumni Association's signature annual event. Homecoming is an opportunity for the campus and local communities to come together and celebrate the past, present and future of Binghamton University. A variety of events during the weekend brought alumni together, either in general or in support of a common interest.
In addition, several events on Friday and Saturday provided opportunities for students to expand their professional networks by meeting alumni who work in a variety of fields. Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Management, Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science and Alumni of Color held events that included panel discussions and one-on-one student-alumni conversations.
President Harvey Stenger spoke to alumni and friends about the Road Map and other important developments during his State of the University address. Anne McCall, the new dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, met with alumni during an open house.
Tailgate '13, held on Saturday outside the Events Center, was the largest event of the weekend, attracting a crowd of alumni, faculty, staff and students. The tailgate party preceded the men's soccer home game against UMass-Lowell, which the Bearcats won 3-0.
The Class of 1973 held its 40th anniversary celebration during Homecoming. The band One to One, which has two 1973 graduates, performed on Friday night at Barnaby's Pub in Endwell and on Saturday afternoon at the tailgate party. Bass player and lead singer Larry O'Connor '73 said the band had regular gigs in the Binghamton area before everyone graduated and went their separate ways.
"In 2011, we played in Washington state and it was the first time we got together in 37 years," O'Connor says. "This is only the second time we've been together since we graduated. We had some time to walk around campus and this place is just amazing."
Trevor Stone '07 (pictured with his wife Gina Romanelli '04, MAT '05) organized the swimming and diving team reunion activities, which included a Friday night informal gathering, open swim time and a banquet on Saturday evening.
"Swimming and diving was the highlight of Binghamton for me," Stone says. "It becomes part of your identity. This is the first time I've been back in a few years. It's fun to see the progress the team is making. It blows your mind."
To see photos from the many Homecoming activities, visit the Alumni Association Shutterfly site. Photos from the Homecoming 2013 photo contest and office decorating contest can be found at Binghamton University's Instagram site.