May 29, 2024
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Harpur conference room named for Sandra and Richard Alpern

Couple praised for gift giving, volunteer work

Sandra and Richard Alpern Sandra and Richard Alpern
Sandra and Richard Alpern

For the past 35 years, Richard ‘69 and Sandra Alpern ‘70 have given nearly 100 gifts to Binghamton University recipients ranging from WHRW to athletics to the Harpur Law Alumni Fund.

“Their gifts have been very well-rounded,” University President Harvey Stenger said. “That’s maybe a metaphor for the well-roundedness of Harpur College.”

The Alperns’ longtime generosity and support was celebrated on May 1, when a Harpur College conference room was named in their honor. “The Sandra and Richard Alpern Conference Room,” located near the Harpur College Dean’s Suite in Library North (Room 2200), is used for dean’s sessions, Harpur interviews and department chair meetings.

The event featured remarks from the Alperns; Stenger; Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Donald Nieman; and Harpur College Dean Elizabeth Chilton.

“There is no one more dedicated to Harpur College than Rich and Sandy,” said Nieman, who shared an anecdote about how excited the couple was to show him photos of Richard wearing a Harpur hat while “walking with the lions” during a recent trip to Africa.

Chilton stressed the Alperns’ level of engagement and commitment, as well as their contributions to the Mileur Faculty Development Fund and the recently established Harpur College Advocacy Council Faculty Development Endowment.

“That is a priority for me and Harpur College as a way to retain our excellent faculty and maintain the quality of educational programs for our students,” she said. “It’s important for us to show this gift as a way to demonstrate leadership for other alumni and (show) other opportunities we have on campus as we continue to grow.”

The Alperns have made an impact on Harpur College in areas aside from gift giving. Richard Alpern is a founder of the Harpur Law Council and serves on the Harpur College Advocacy Council, while Sandra Alpern served as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

“Harpur College and Binghamton University have played such an important role in our lives,” Sandra Alpern said. “In addition to receiving a high-quality education at an affordable cost, this is where we met and fell in love. The courses we took and the outstanding professors who taught us provided us with the foundation for our careers and our lives. For me, arriving here in the summer of 1966, Harpur was a safe place for me to grow up and become more independent. I will always be grateful for that.”

Richard Alpern said the couple believes that volunteer activities and financial contributions are important ways to show gratitude to their former home.

“We were proud to graduate from (this university) and we are even more proud of how outstanding the university has become,” he said. “By supporting the Faculty Development Fund, we want to help the recruitment, retention and development of outstanding professors who will help students, Harpur College and Binghamton University continue the tradition of excellence.”

He added that having their names on the conference room is special because of the couple’s longtime relationships with Harpur College deans over the years, starting in 1995 with then-Dean Sharon Brehm.

“We are thankful that we were able to make a significant donation that has led to the dedication of this conference room,” he said. “We hope that adding our names to the conference room will inspire others to make similar gifts.”

Posted in: Harpur