Homecoming unites alumni in #BingPride celebration
By Steve Seepersaud
A dazzling fireworks show on Saturday evening capped off a full day of Homecoming activities.
When you move off campus, you leave the residential community behind, but it never leaves you. The sentiment could be seen in the nearly 300 alumni and students who attended the Hinman College 50th anniversary dinner held Oct. 7, during Homecoming weekend.
"Hinman remains a community all about school spirit, energetic camaraderie and giving back. It was special to experience it again with alumni and current students," said Erin Howe '03, co-master of ceremonies at the Hinman banquet.
Hinman alumni were a sizable portion of the nearly 1,200 who attended Homecoming. Binghamton green and signs of #BingPride were visible throughout campus. The unseasonably warm October temperatures combined with fall colors provided a lovely backdrop for outdoor events such as the tailgate party and 5K run.
"The energy at Homecoming this year was fantastic!" said Hadassah Head Mativetsky '07, MS '12. "It has been 10 years since I graduated, and I'm a Hinman alum, so this Homecoming was extra special for me. I pushed myself to do as much as I could."
Once again, the Alumni Center – which opened at Homecoming 2015 – was a centerpiece of activity during the weekend. In addition to serving as the welcome center and site of the opening happy hour, it hosted a special ceremony on Saturday to name the Traditions Alumni Hallway in memory of Charlene Kahlor Kramer '73, LHD '04 (pictured above). The Alumni Association started a new tradition at Homecoming 2017: a ceremony in which alumni placed legacy lapel pins on their sons or daughters currently attending the University.
TIER Talks® presented by M&T Bank gave alumni and students a glimpse into the future as two Binghamton graduates and a current student discussed how virtual and augmented realities will transform our lives within the next decade.
"I came here 15 years ago from India, and the first time I stepped on U.S. soil was getting off the plane at the Binghamton airport," said Hiren Bhinde, MS '05 (pictured above), who spoke at TIER Talks about his work as director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies. "Binghamton University was what the U.S. represented to me. I owe a lot of gratitude to Binghamton for making me what I am today. This is home for me."
Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi celebrated its 5th anniversary at Homecoming. The weekend also offered opportunities for students to connect with alumni who share a common academic interest, career field or activity. Bing Brews and Bands, held Saturday evening in downtown Binghamton, brought alumni back to a place where they partied as students, and they sampled local microbrews and music acts. Social media buzzed throughout the weekend with photos and shout-outs.
"The older we get, the more emotional each Homecoming is," said Chris Strub '07, who took over the Alumni Association's Snapchat account during the weekend. "You could hardly walk a few steps without encountering an exciting event. I loved connecting with students in some of my old affinity groups, like Pipe Dream. It's always a joy to come back to campus, but nothing compares to the weekend-long energy that makes us all proud to be Bearcat alumni."
See photos from the weekend at our Shutterfly site.
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