The other panelists

Lawyer, political activist and author Ann DeLaney '67, who wrote Politics for Dummies. She remembered debating the University president about an unjust rule and recalled his perspective: "'We had to control these 18-year-old, 19-year-old young men coming around here with hormones running loose, and the only way to do that is to have curfew for the women.' That was actually the debate."

Ravi Gupta '05, former special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. For his final paper, he wanted to argue that evolution had stopped in human beings, and though his professor thought it was a little ambitious, he let Gupta explore the topic. "It literally changed the way I look at the planet on a foundational level. It was incredible."

Marc Lawrence '81, wrote and directed Did You Hear About the Morgans? He talked about Bill Spanos (whom Lawrence still owes three papers). "When someone can say something that you actually had never thought of, that happens very, very rarely," Lawrence said. "When you think of your life, most of the things people say you anticipate before the end of the conversation. But when someone can come in and say something that completely throws a different light on something you both have looked at, it's a 'wow' experience, and that was very much Bill."

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Curator Steven Luckert '80, MA '83, PhD '93. While studying for his bachelor's, Luckert curated an exhibition at the University Art Museum. "When I talk to groups at museums in graduate studies programs, they don't get to do that. And yet I was able to do that as an undergraduate. And that prepared me for what I do now. I was so fortunate to have that experience."

University of California research scientist Albert "Skip" Rizzo PhD '91. When he moved to Binghamton from New Orleans, Rizzo remembered arriving on "one of those classic summer days in Binghamton - where it's rainy and it's gray and it's miserable. I remember driving around Court Street and thinking, 'What am I doing? This is like the Twilight Zone.'"

Madeleine Smithberg '81, who earned Peabody and Emmy awards for her work writing and producing for The Daily Show (with Jon Stewart). She credited Kenneth Lindsay, who started her first college art class by saying, "Welcome to Art History 101. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride." As he turned out the lights and started clicking through slides of famous artworks, "it was like fireworks were going off in my head," she said.

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Last Updated: 6/27/16