Couple marks 50th anniversary by giving to Harpur

Event celebrates the generosity of the Ehrenbergs

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger salutes Randy and Ronald Ehrenberg in the conference room now named for the couple. Image Credit: Casey Staff.
Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger salutes Randy and Ronald Ehrenberg in the conference room now named for the couple.
Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger salutes Randy and Ronald Ehrenberg in the conference room now named for the couple. Photography: Casey Staff.

Randy and Ronald Ehrenberg’s love story began more than 50 years ago at Binghamton University, where they met.

“It was very much love at first sight,” Randy ’67 said fondly as she recalled how her first glimpse of Ron ’66, SD ’08, was when she saw his photo in a University yearbook and thought he looked like Paul Newman.

The only course they had together — art history — led to Saturday night dates spent in an art lab examining photos and memorizing key dates, Randy said. Fast-forward five decades and their memories of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences are still fresh.

As the Ehrenbergs neared their 50th wedding anniversary on June 29, they said it was fitting to commemorate the milestone by giving back to Harpur College. Randy is a member of the Harpur College Advocacy Council, and the couple made a gift to its Faculty Development Endowment.

The University recognized and celebrated the couple’s generosity by naming space in the Harpur College dean’s suite the Randy and Ronald Ehrenberg Faculty Collaboration Room. A dedication ceremony at the site, in the former dean’s office on the second floor of Library North, was held June 23.

“It was a no-brainer to give a gift to Harpur in honor of our 50th anniversary,” Ron said at the dedication. “We met at Harpur. That alone was sufficient for us to be attached to the University.”

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger noted the Ehrenbergs are distinguished alumni who over the years have given their time and financial gifts to advance the University by supporting Harpur College students and, with their recent gift, Harpur College faculty.

They previously endowed a scholarship to honor Ron’s parents and established an award in memory of their son, among other contributions.

“Where I am and how my career evolved really depended on the start Harpur gave me,” said Ron, whose degrees from

Binghamton University include a bachelor of arts in mathematical sciences and an honorary doctor of science. He also has a doctorate from North- western University.

The Ehrenbergs’ careers have centered on ensuring students have access to high-quality education. Ron is the Irving M. Ives Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, and director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute. Randy, who has a bachelor of arts in English from Binghamton, retired as superintendent of the North Colonie Central School District, outside Albany.

The Harpur College Advocacy Council Faculty Development Endowment provides critical resources for Harpur College to retain and attract top faculty, Stenger said. The fund supports faculty research, travel to confer- ences and other professional development opportunities.

“You start a premier education with premier faculty . . . which directly translates to great experiences for students,” said Terrence Deak, who was interim dean of Harpur College when the Ehrenberg room was dedicated.

The Ehrenbergs’ gift also sets an example for others to follow, Stenger said.

“The best kind of charity is anonymous, but it’s helpful to have your name on things to inspire others to give, too,” Randy said.

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