The Biggest Binghamton University Stories of 2022
Posted by Jillian McCarthy on December 13, 2022
As we near the end of 2022, it’s fun to look back on the year and see how far we’ve come. From important research to new hires to our competitive rankings,—compiling this list made me feel proud to be a Bearcat. The University has covered a lot of great stories this year – here are some of the best.
We were recognized as a premier public
Binghamton ranked high on a variety of lists, even reaching #35 in the best public schools in the nation. The University was also ranked in the top 50 of more than 700 schools on Princeton Review’s “2023 Top 50 Green Schools” list. We were also recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Employers by State.” #BingPride is stronger than ever.
A University-led battery initiative got a major boost
It was a big year for innovation! Binghamton’s New Energy New York Project was awarded a total of $113 million toward establishing a lithium-ion battery manufacturing and supply hub. This was part of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge in which the Binghamton-led coalition’s proposal was one of only 21 selected nationwide. There was even a news conference where Binghamton representatives were on a Zoom call with President Biden!
Baby Baxter fooled us all
Were you fooled? Baby Baxter was announced as the newest member of the Binghamton family this April Fool’s Day. Unfortunately, his career was just about as short as him.
We had a big return back to campus
Binghamton welcomed 18,200+ students, including over 3,000 first-year students, this fall! And after a two-year hiatus, our iconic "flying B" logo returned, featuring the Class of 2026!
Our research efforts were astounding
With over 700 research opportunities for students on campus and 19 organized research centers, Binghamton is at the forefront of academic research! Binghamton is a Carnegie R1 institution and maintained that status this past year. Researchers focused on sustainability efforts this year, with new research for a greener future underway. Brilliant new discoveries are being made here and researchers are always making progress in technological advancements.
Our alumni made great accomplishments
Did you know that the beloved bubble tea shop 2nd Heaven is thanks to Binghamton graduate Leighton Blackwood? Or that the lead prosecutor of the cult case that inspired the hit HBO show The Vow is a Binghamton graduate? How about that Emmy-Award-nominated John Wilson who studied film here? There was no shortage of graduate success stories this past year.
Promising new leaders stepped forward
We lost a Binghamton legend this year. Upinder Dillon, longtime dean of the School of Management, sadly died this spring, leaving behind an immeasurable legacy at the University. Binghamton welcomed a new provost, new deans for the School of Management and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and a new director of athletics. With 30 years of experience in public and private higher education, Provost Donald Hall fits right in as an integral part of the University, taking over for another Donald, Donald Nieman, who returns to the classroom in 2023. You can look forward to Shelley Dionne taking SOM to new heights as the dean. And Kanneboyina Nagaraju, known as Raju, is already having an impact as the School of Pharmacy’s dean. It was recently announced that Eugene Marshall Jr. will join the Bearcats this January 2023 as the new athletic director.
Athletes made incredible achievements
It was a big year for Bearcats! Our club hockey team ended a successful season, bringing home silver medals from the Collegiate Hockey Federation Cup. Our club rugby team broke a school record, achieving the highest national ranking in the team’s history. Volleyball players received special recognition and soccer players shined this season.
Our new baseball stadium was a home run
The largest gift in the University’s history went toward the creation of our state-of-the-art baseball stadium. Students got to cheer on the Bearcats from brand-new seats this year. The grand opening game had a record-setting sellout crowd and the team even went on to win the America East Championship!
Hakeem Jeffries ’92 made history
Binghamton is represented in Congress! Alumnus Hakeem Jeffries was recently elected House Democratic Leader, making him the first Black person to lead a party in Congress. He offers some sage advice and considers his time here as a very formative experience. Bearcats are making history!
We had a blast at big-time events
There were so many great events this year that it’s hard to keep track. Homecoming was a hit. I’ve never seen so much green in one place! Spring Fling brought everyone together for some great rides, food, prizes and live music. Most recently, SAPB’s Fall Concert got everyone dancing!
We invested in academics
This year Binghamton made major steps in boosting our academic profile. An ambitious faculty hiring plan, supported by a $53 million SUNY-wide faculty hiring initiative, will bring in 30 replacement hires and 36 new hires. Funding has also been approved to add a new Lecture Hall/Classroom Building that will provide the next generation of cutting-edge, high-impact learning spaces for the campus. In addition, there are plans to establish a School of the Arts within Harpur College.
Our students made us proud
Binghamton students are always striving for success, and this year there were a lot of incredible stories. From national recognition to prestigious scientific journal publications, students have really left their mark this year.
Commencement was unforgettable
This year's Commencement was a big deal. There were 10 ceremonies held with over 4,300 degrees awarded, including more than 650 master’s and 192 doctoral degrees. In addition, the University held its first-ever cording ceremony for first-gen graduates. Here’s to wishing all of our graduates the best of luck! Once a Bearcat, always a Bearcat.
Theatre made a triumphant return
The Theatre Department put on two great shows with the Dungeons and Dragons adventure “She Kills Monsters” and a magical production of “Into the Woods." This year marked a big return to the stage and to live performances for theater lovers!
We kickstarted a major funding campaign
A major highlight of this year was the launch of EXCELERATE: Moving at the speed of Binghamton, a campaign aimed at collecting $220 million to fund Binghamton’s future. It will go toward scholarships, internships, and more hands-on learning and research. Having already raised over half of that goal, there’s so much to look forward to!
Jillian McCarthy is an intern for the Office of Media and Public Relations, and a junior majoring in English. She hopes to become an entertainment journalist. In her free time she loves to play guitar, watch movies and read.
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