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Two to be recognized with honorary degrees

By : Katie Ellis

Political scientist J. David Singer and alumnus and philanthropist Allan R. Lyons ’62 have each left a lasting impression on Binghamton University, though in very different ways. Binghamton University will present each of themwith honorary degrees at Commencement ceremonies next month, recognizing their contributions to our campus.

 J. David Singer

Political Science educator and innovator J. David Singer will receive an honorary degree and speak at the Harpur College Commencement at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20. Currently professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, Singer is arguably the most signifi cant scholar in the study of war and peace over the past four decades.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy who served in World War II and the Korean War, Singer earneda bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a doctorate from New York University. He served as an instructor at NYU and at Vassar College before moving on to Harvard’s Social Relations Department as a postdoctoral student. Singer also served in a visiting position at the University of Michigan and at the U.S. Naval War College before accepting a research position at the University of Michigan’s Mental Health Research Institute (MHRI).

In 1963, Singer spent a year at the University of Oslo and the Institute for Social Research as a Fulbright Fellow, helping to establish the Peace Research Institute and lay the groundworkfor the Correlates of War (COW) project. The COW project changedthe culture of the study of political science by beginning a systematicand steady accumulation of scientifi c knowledge about war. One outcome of Singer’s work with COW was the 1972 publication of a book, with co-author Melvin Small, The Wages of War, which produced a standard defi nition of war to guide scholars in their research. A second book by the pair followed: Resort to Arms: International and Civil War, 1816-1980.

 A repository of data sets and empirical studies, the COW projecthas served as a training ground for young scholars, including those at Binghamton University. The more scientifi c manner in which political science is now practiced has become the core of the Binghamton University graduate program in political science.

 Allan R. Lyons ’62

Philanthropist, teacher, accountant, in-vestment advisor and Binghamton Universityalumnus and volunteer Allan R. Lyons ’62 will receive an honorary degree at the Commencement ceremony for the profes-sional schools at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 20. Establishing and maintaining a relationship with Binghamton University that is virtually unparalleled, Lyons earned his bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Harpur College in 1962, before continuing his education at Ohio State University, where he received his master’s in business administration. He joined the firm of Piaker & Lyons PC in 1964 as a Certifi ed Public Accountant, rose to the position of partner and served as chairman and chief executive offi cer from 1994 through his retirement in 1999. His area of specialization was taxes, estates and financial planning.

Currently a partner with Vestal Venture Capital and owner of 21st Century Strategic Investment Planning, LC, Lyons serves on the boards of directors of Franklin Credit Management Corporation and Source Interlink Companies, Inc. and has been a director for AMBANC Holding Company; The Score Board, Inc.; Ecosoil Systems, Inc.; IEC Electronics; Retail EntertainmentGroup, Inc.; and

Throughout his career, Lyons has remained engaged with Binghamton University, providing internship opportunities for students, hiring graduates and serving as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Management. He was an active member of Harpur Forum and he served on the School of Management Advisory Board and the Binghamton University Foundation Board.

Since his retirement, Lyons has been a member of the Binghamton Fund’s Leadership Society since 2003; a member of the Leadership Team for the Binghamton University Events Center Fundraising Initiative; a participant in the 2005 Campaign II Feasibility Study; host of two Presidential-Alumni receptions in his home in Boca Raton, Fla.; and he is currently a member of the Lead Gifts Solicitation Team for the University’s comprehensive gifts campaign. For his support of Binghamton University, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for Philanthropy in 1999.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08