You Know You Went to SUNY Binghamton When…

Posted by Carolyn Bernardo on January 10, 2018

Let’s face it, your alma mater has been through an identity crisis of sorts. Yes, we know you’re not all #Bearcats4Life. So in the interest of spreading #BingPride, like our various mascots have over the years, we asked SUNY Binghamton alumni about life as a Colonial, circa 1965-1992, and this is what they came up with. Take a walk with us down memory lane...

You celebrated fall traditions...

article images

You passed vegetables to celebrate the fall instead of taking selfies in the Nature Preserve. This tradition was started in 1975 by student Richard Agriss to appeal to Mother Nature for a mild winter. 

...And spring traditions

article images

You stepped on the coat to officially proclaim the end of winter, a tradition that was started over 30 years ago at Binghamton. 

You went to the best college because...

article images

There was a pub...on campus! Hanging out at the Campus Pub was just another day in the life of a SUNY Binghamton student. And Billy Baldwin was the bouncer.

You didn't just open your laptop to answer emails...

article images

You had to leave your dorm and go to the computer pod to check your email!

You had your usual hangout spots...

article images

But they weren't necessarily on State Street... The “Other Place,” or OP, which was located right next door to campus (where Denny's and Bubble Tea are now), was the place to hang out on Thursday nights. 

You registered for your classes in a crowded room.

article images

SUNY Binghamton students registered for their classes in the West Gym...and on paper, no less! 

You didn't have much privacy when checking your grades.

article images

Your professors posted your grades on paper, on their doors, using your social security number! Oh, and you had your social security number on your ID card, too. 

You didn't throw a frisbee at the Peace Quad...

article images

You hung out at the lake! Lake Lieberman, that is. 

You knew you had to leave your dorm early, for class in the winter...

article images

The Teflon-coated walkway made it really hard to walk across campus when there was snow on the ground, and especially during a classic Binghamton snowstorm.

You ate the best ice cream in town.

article images

You made Saturday morning runs to Pat Mitchell's, and if you missed out, you could always rely on Pat Mitchell’s pint deliveries to the dorms every Sunday night!

You rocked out...

article images

To Grateful Dead, Rush, Warren Zevon, Alice Cooper and Phish at what was then known as the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

You could get more than a meal at the dining halls...

article images

Quick Draws were served in the dining halls, too!

You didn't stream your favorite movies.

article images

SUNY Binghamton students grabbed their favorite movies from the video rental store in the Union basement. 

You wanted to live in the newest dorms.

article images

For SUNY Binghamton students, College in the Woods were the newest dorms on campus!

You didn't need Spotify or iTunes.

article images

You visited Slipped Disc Records on campus to find new music. 

You had class with a few famous folks.

article images

Seeing Paul Reiser in your class wasn't a stranger thing for you.

You didn't have to worry about sweating in gym class.

article images

Instead, you could take a half-semester of intro golf to qualify for your gym class requirement, thus avoiding any risk of sweating. 

You could hang out at more than one fountain.

article images

SUNY Binghamton students could hang out at one of TWO fountains on campus!

You didn't need a sled to enjoy the snow.

article images

All you needed was a tray after a big snowstorm. ‘Traying’ still takes place on campus today! 

You (kind of) carpooled.

article images

When you could hitchhike from campus to Endicott or Johnson City. 

You didn't know Baxter the Bearcat.

article images

Your mascot was a man named Colonial Bill, who ruled the West Gym. 

Through all the fun, and ever-changing times, two things have stayed the same...

article images

1) The weather is as unpredictable as it gets, and 2) countless students still come to Binghamton to get a premier education at a very low price! 

*Thank you to the "You know you went to SUNY Binghamton and not Binghamton University when..." group on Facebook for contributing to all of these memories!

And thank you to the Binghamton University Library Special Collections for compiling these photos for us!  

Carolyn Bernardo is the alumni engagement social media coordinator at Binghamton University. As a Binghamton native, she is passionate about the area and the University. 

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at

Want to get involved with the Alumni Association? Contact us at, or follow us on social media!​