Binghamton University opened its doors as Triple Cities College in 1946. Originally located in Endicott, five miles west of the present campus, the fledgling school was a branch of Syracuse University. When the college was incorporated into the State University of New York four years later, it was renamed Harpur College in honor of Robert Harpur, a Colonial teacher, patriot and pioneer who devoted his later years to settling the area around Binghamton.
Until 1953, Harpur College was one of only two public liberal arts colleges in the state. In 1961, the campus was moved across the Susquehanna River to Vestal. Growing enrollments and a reputation for excellence soon led to its selection as one of four doctorate-granting university centers in the state system. In 1965, the campus was formally designated the State University of New York at Binghamton. Harpur College became the undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and sciences college of the University and the nucleus of an evolving group of graduate, research and professional programs which now includes the College of Community and Public Affairs, the Decker School of Nursing, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Management and the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Establishment of an additional school, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is under way and is expected to enroll its first cohort of students in fall 2017, pending precandidate status from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
Over the years, as it has developed into a highly regarded research university, Binghamton has maintained the collegial qualities of a smaller school. Binghamton University remains true to the vision of its founders: to be a public university providing excellence in higher education for today and for the future.