July 21, 2024
overcast clouds Clouds 64 °F

You Know You Went to SUNY Binghamton When…

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...

Students passing around vegetables

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

Student jumping on a coat

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...

Students eating chicken wings

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...

Student using a computer

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

You had your usual hangout spots...

The Other Place

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.

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.

Student checking their grades on a wall

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...

Students hanging out at Lake Lieberman

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

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

People walking through the snow on campus

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.

Intersection in Binghamton

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...

Concert on campus

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...

Students eating together

Quick Draws were served in the dining halls, too!

You didn't stream your favorite movies.

Student renting a video

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

You wanted to live in the newest dorms.

Students eating in the dining hall

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

You didn't need Spotify or iTunes.

Slipped disc music studio

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

You had class with a few famous folks.

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

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

Students golfing

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.

A couple at a fountain

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

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

Students having fun in the snow

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

You (kind of) carpooled.

HitchHiking station in Binghamton

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

You didn't know Baxter the Bearcat.

Colonials mascot

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...


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 social@binghamton.edu.