It has been said that facing a challenge is never a disadvantage. Rather, the experience of overcoming challenges can become our biggest advantage. The year 2020 surely was a challenge. But, Binghamton University confronted and surmounted this challenge in ways that should make us all proud. Binghamton students were recognized by the SUNY chancellor for playing a crucial role in helping the Southern Tier fight COVID-19 through testing and contact tracing, and one of our facilities served as a hub for vaccinations. Binghamton successfully operated the campus, providing a safe and effective academic environment — while also providing financial help to students studying remotely who lacked adequate computer or network resources. In short, we should all be very proud because Binghamton did not let the pandemic defeat its mission of providing an inspiring and excellent education.
The pandemic also did not stymie the growth and work of the University. Binghamton faculty and students continue to make breakthroughs and push the boundaries of discovery and innovation. This resilience in the face of adversity not only is a tribute to our faculty, students and staff, but is a testament to all of you — loyal alumni and friends — who continue to invest in Binghamton.
Binghamton left its mark on many of us. We grew up here, became smarter, made wonderful friends and had experiences that stayed with us. But, Binghamton also is a gift that keeps on giving! The University keeps getting better and offers so many different ways to engage and make a difference. For me, this involved founding an honors thesis program and prize for students in philosophy, politics and law, and then helping to found the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, which now makes Binghamton one of the few U.S. schools to offer a minor and master’s degree in this important and emerging field.
Whether through a donation, a multiyear pledge, supporting a department or program, or mentoring a student, each of us can be part of the Binghamton story and help keep Binghamton vibrant and on the cutting edge of educational innovation. This is why it has been so exciting to be part of the Binghamton University Foundation and its board of directors. Working with President Stenger and the University to raise and manage money to support Binghamton’s mission is a joy and an honor. Together, we can support our faculty in enhancing courses and programs to keep them new and fresh, our students with scholarships and internships that will ready them to be leaders and thinkers, and the research that will mark Binghamton as a premier research university.
Please take a moment to imagine the impact that any of us can have, and consider where you might want to contribute. There is a place for each of us in the Binghamton story. Come feel the joy of helping Binghamton. No matter the size, your gift will be appreciated. It will be put to great use — and it will make a difference.
Owen Pell '80, LLD '11
Chair, Binghamton University Foundation Board of Directors