10 Events That Put Binghamton University On The Map

Posted by Natalie Murphy on October 29, 2014

There are always big things happening in the Binghamton University community, many of which capture the attention of national news outlets. Here is a chronological snapshot of some memorable events that have taken place over the course of Binghamton’s history -- just to name a few.

1. Grateful Dead give legendary performance

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On May 2, 1970, the Grateful Dead performed at Harpur College in what iTunes notes “is consistently ranked by Deadheads as one of the band’s best shows ever.” Crucially, this concert was held after the band recorded their breakthrough album,Workingman's Dead.

2. Chemistry professor discovers mercury in seafood

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In 1971, chemistry professor Bruce McDuffie garnered attention from news outlets worldwide when he discovered mercury in cans of tuna taken from supermarkets. McDuffie’s findings resulted in the removal of approximately 1 million cans of tuna from shelves.

3. Cinema department production shows at Cannes Film Festival

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In 1973, We Can’t Go Home Again aired at the Cannes Film Festival. This was the last major project of Nicholas Ray, cinema department professor and noteworthy director of Rebel Without a Cause.

4. Eddie Murphy knocks 'em dead at Binghamton

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In 1985, on the cusp of becoming one of America’s most successful comedic actors, Eddie Murphy performed a show at Binghamton. 

5. Influential stand-up comedian George Carlin visits campus

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In 1989, comedian, social critic, actor and author George Carlin brought his unique brand of comedy to the University.

6. Binghamton athlete becomes an Olympian

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Vestal native and track star Christopher Coleman '89, M.B.A. '93, was part of the USA bobsleigh team in the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics. Learn about other Binghamton alumni.

7. University welcomes “Father of Modern Linguistics”

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On March 4, 2006, linguist Noam Chomsky delivered a talk titled “Imminent Crises: Paths Toward Solutions” in the Anderson Center’s Osterhout Concert Theater.

8. Hillary Clinton speaks to nursing students

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On July 16, 2007, Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Decker School of Nursing to address nursing shortages in rural America.

9. Events Center offers shelter after massive flooding

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In 2011, hundreds of Binghamton staff and students volunteered and joined with the University to aid more than 1,800 area residents evacuated due to flooding.

10. University hosts President Obama

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On Aug. 23, 2013, President Barack Obama unveiled his “Making College More Affordable: A Better Bargain for the Middle Class” plan in the Mandela Room.

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