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Homecoming blends old and new

By : Rachel Coker and Nicole Borawski

To view the Homecoming 2006 Photo Gallery, click here.

Homecoming 2006 offered something for everyone, from a parade and barbecue to lectures and awards banquets.

More than 700 alumni returned to campus for the annual event, which featured milestone reunions for the classes of 1956, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1996 and 2001, a Zero-Year Reunion for the Class of 2006 and special reunions for WHRW, Off Campus College Transport, Hillel at Binghamton, School of Advanced Technology, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, German majors/minors and alumni who studied abroad in Graz, Austria.

Winners of several contests were announced during the weekend.

Senior Consuelo Valenzuela, 20, who’s majoring in political science and French language and literature, received the Exemplary Student Award. She will receive a full-tuition scholarship for one semester. Senior Michael Schiffman, a finance major, finished in second place and will receive a $500 bookstore scholarship.

Mountainview College won the Brain Train Parade, which drew a record number of very spirited floats. Mountainview was also named the winner of the office-decorating contest, beating out several other entrants who also got in on this year’s theme of “What happens in Vegas comes to Binghamton.”

On Friday afternoon, President Lois B. DeFleur and John Meador, director of the University Libraries, joined Alex Huppé ’69 to dedicate the Bernard F. Huppé Reading Room.

The room, inside Special Collections in the Glenn G. Bartle Library, will provide a dignified atmosphere for scholars and students who wish to review original manuscripts and other rare or historic documents.

Alex Huppé provided a $50,000 endowment to create the room in honor of his father, one of the founders of Harpur College.

“He was not only a lover of books and manuscripts, he was a lover of knowledge and passing it on,” Aldo Bernardo, distinguished service professor emeritus in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, said of his late colleague.

Later Friday evening, the 2006 Athletics Hall of Fame induction class was recognized at the 11th annual ceremony.

Elected to membership this year were former men’s basketball coach Dick Baldwin (1991-96), baseball pitcher Jerry Gaube (1973-76), wrestler Keith Cavayero (1982-85) and soccer forward Dave Pabon (1992-95).

Saturday afternoon, the Decker School of Nursing celebrated the latest addition to its Innovative Practice Center with a baby shower. Students can use the SimBaby mannequin, which breathes and speaks in multiple languages, to practice taking blood pressure and heart rate readings as well as inserting a virtual IV. They can also listen to the SimBaby’s lungs to detect pneumonia or other computer-programmed sickness.

Students, alumni, faculty and members of the Decker Foundation Board of Trustees, who funded the project, watched demonstrations of the new technology.

“The baby seems so real that students become emotionally entangled immediately,” said Susan Russell, learning lab coordinator. “They find themselves rubbing the ‘baby’s’ stomach when it cries.”

Joyce Ferrario, dean of the Decker School, said students benefit from the detailed practice with the mannequins. “Any new simulation allows students to perform on a higher level,” she said. “It really serves as a safety factor. Being able to set up various scenarios ensures that students have all the possible skills needed.”

Dieter Binder delivered a talk titled “The Long Shadow of National Socialism: Austria’s Struggle with the Restitution of Looted Art” on Saturday afternoon. He discussed the political situation in Austria before and after World War II as well as the various ways in which money and property ranging from factories to furniture were taken from Jewish residents during the war.

Binder was a mediator in the case of Altmann vs. the Republic of Austria, which led to the recent restitution of several Klimt paintings. The paintings, from the collection of Ferdinand and Adele Bloch Bauer, have been restored to their owners and are being exhibited at the Neue Galerie in New York City.

Binder’s speech was the inaugural event in the Larry Wells Annual Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Wells Family and an alumna of the German program, Doris Braun, in honor of the late Professor Larry Wells.

Homecoming also featured several student-alumni networking sessions, numerous receptions for alumni and a special banquet for WHRW, which celebrated its 40th anniversary. A Sunday night fireworks display capped off the weekend’s events.

To view the Homecoming 2006 Photo Gallery, click here.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08