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History of the Memorial Courtyard

“We are creating a garden that will never really be finished – that will always be a work in progress.”

Michael Radner ’86.

Inspired by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Memorial Courtyard provides visitors with a peaceful place where the lives of alumni lost that day, as well as other deceased members of the Binghamton University community, may be remembered and celebrated.   

On Saturday, October 12, 2002, more than 300 people gathered in the new Memorial Courtyard, located in the center of the Fine Arts building, viewing for the first time the granite monument commemorating the 15 Binghamton alumni lost on a terrible Tuesday morning just a year earlier. Hundreds of tulip and daffodil bulbs were planted in memory of those lost by family, friends, students, faculty and alumni. 

Photo of the Fine Arts courtyard before the Memorial Courtyard was constructed.

Photo showing the second stage of the Memorial Courtyard under construction.

Photo of the the Memorial Courtyard, July 2009.

Since that day, new memorials have been added honoring other departed members of the Binghamton University community — faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the University — their bronze plaques bearing their names perched on the memorial boulders within the courtyard. Around the monuments the Courtyard has been made even more beautiful with more flowers, plantings, bluestone, an irrigation system, benches, lighting and arbors. The courtyard and its enhancement were only possible through generous donations, and a display at the courtyard entrance was added to acknowledge gifts of $500 or more.

In summer 2009, the garden was expanded to include an upper courtyard with more green space, plantings, seating, lighting and bluestone walk ways.

View a panoramic video of the Memorial Courtyard.

The Courtyard was brought to life by Michael Radner, ’86, who donated part of his professional services as a landscape architect. Originally from New Rochelle, N.Y., Radner obtained an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse. He worked for a variety of private landscape architectural firms in New York and Massachusetts before establishing his own company, Michael Radner Design.

The beauty of the courtyard is maintained and will continue to flourish for years to come through additional generous donations of alumni and friends.

Make a gift to support the expansion of the Memorial Courtyard.


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PO Box 6005, Binghamton, New York 13905-6005 • Phone: 607-777-6208

Last Updated: 7/24/17