Binghamton University

Binghamton University
Binghamton University
Motto From breadth through depth to perspective [1]
Established 1946
Type Public
Endowment $ 72 million (as of June, 2010)[2]
President C. Peter Magrath (interim)
Students 14,713[3]
Undergraduates 11,706
Postgraduates 3,007
Location Vestal, New York, USA
Campus Suburban, 887 acres (3.59 km2)
Colors Green, Black and White
Athletics NCAA Division I Baseball, Basketball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, Track and Field, Rowing, Wrestling, Volleyball, Fencing, Kayaking
Nickname The Bearcats
Mascot Baxter The Bearcat
Affiliations State University of New York

Binghamton University, also formally called State University of New York at Binghamton, (commonly referred to as Bing, or BU), is a public research university in the State of New York. The University is one of the four university centers in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Since its establishment in 1946, the University has grown from a small liberal arts college, Harpur College, to a large doctoral-granting institution, presently consisting of six colleges and schools, and is now home to nearly 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Binghamton University is currently ranked 90th among the 262 national universities ranked in the 2012 U.S. News America's Best Colleges and Universities ranking and is a Public Ivy.[4] The Carnegie Foundation has classified the University as RU/H (Research Universities with high research activity).[5] The University's main campus is located in the Town of Vestal, with a secondary education center located in the nearby downtown Binghamton, New York.




Binghamton University was established in 1946 as Triple Cities College to serve the needs of local veterans returning from World War II of the Triple Cities area. Thomas J. Watson of IBM was an early supporter of the college and provided some of the initial support and helped to establish it in Endicott, New York; the college was a branch of Syracuse University. Originally, Triple Cities College offered local students the first two years of their education, while the following two were spent at Syracuse. However, starting in the 1948-49 year, students were allowed to earn their degrees entirely in Binghamton. When the college split from Syracuse and became incorporated into the State University of New York (SUNY) in 1950, it was renamed Harpur College, in honor of Robert Harpur, a Colonial teacher and pioneer who settled in the Binghamton area. It was one of only two public liberal arts schools in New York state in 1950 (the other was Champlain College, Plattsburgh). Of the four University Centers (Stony Brook, Albany, Buffalo and Binghamton), Binghamton was the first to join SUNY.

In 1955, the college began to plan its current location in Vestal, New York. This move was complete by 1961. The 387-acre (1.57 km2) site was purchased from a local farmer, anticipating future growth for the school. Colonial Hall, the original building of the former campus, stands today as the Village of Endicott Visitor's Center.

Aerial photograph of Binghamton University.

After Harpur was selected as one of the four university centers of SUNY in 1965, it was renamed State University of New York at Binghamton. As other schools were added to the University, Harpur College retained its name and its status as the largest of Binghamton's constituent schools—Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, with more than 60 percent of undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in its degree programs.[8]

Although the legal and official University name remains State University of New York at Binghamton, since 1992, the University has been referred to as "Binghamton University," or "Binghamton University, State University of New York", with the exception of the most formal and official documents and applications. Note that the University's Administration Procedures discourage the reference to the University as "SUNY-Binghamton," "SUNY-B," "Harpur College," or other names not listed above.[9]

Past and current leaders

The first president of Harpur College, who began as dean of Triple Cities College, was Glenn Bartle. The second president, G. Bruce Dearing, served several years during the Vietnam era, and then left to become vice chancellor for academic affairs at the SUNY Central Administration in Albany. Third in line was C. Peter Magrath, who came from the University of Nebraska, served from 1972–1974, then left in the summer of 1974 to become president at the University of Minnesota.

The fourth president at Binghamton was Clifford D. Clark, who left his position as dean of the Business school at the University of Kansas to serve as vice president for academic affairs at Binghamton in 1973, but quickly was asked to take on the job of acting president in the fall of 1974 when Magrath left for Minnesota. Clark then was selected as president and served from March 1975 through mid-1990. In Clark's presidency, he led the campus as it moved from primarily a stellar four-year liberal arts college to a thriving research university. Clark added the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts and inaugurated the Summer Music Festival, created the Harpur Forum (now called the Binghamton University Forum), established the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, fostered the expansion and development of the Decker School of Nursing, turned a simple public information office into a development, alumni and public relations office able to represent the University to its many constituencies, and, during a short leave from Binghamton when he served as vice chancellor for graduate studies and research at SUNY Central, pushed for and got a new program for underrepresented graduate students, which continues today to bring diverse students of exceptional caliber to SUNY. The program at Binghamton is enhanced through the Clark Fellowship program, which provides supplemental funding to support these students' endeavors. Upon his retirement from the presidency, Clark taught for several years at Binghamton as University Professor in the Economics Department and on taking emeritus status has continued to teach one course a year in development economics in his home in southeast Michigan.

Lois B. DeFleur became the University's fifth president upon Clark's retirement in 1990. DeFleur retired in 2010 and on July 1, C. Peter Magrath returned as president on an interim basis.[10]

As of Friday, March 4, 2010, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher announced that she will not be recommending either of the presidential candidates that were recommended by the presidential search committee to the SUNY Board of Trustees. A new round of presidential search for the successor of DeFleur and Magrath will be started. In the meantime, Interim President C. Peter Magrath will continue to lead Binghamton University as the search proceeds, until the end of 2011.

Thomas J. Watson

Thomas J. Watson is an important figure in Binghamton's fabric. Having been a founding member of IBM in Broome County, Watson viewed the region as an area of great potential. In the early 1940s he collaborated with a group of local leaders to initiate the creation of Triple Cities College (of Syracuse University), which would later become Harpur College and then finally Binghamton. He donated land at and around the original IBM site in Endicott, New York, where the school called home for just a few years. The campus broke ground at its current location in Vestal, New York, in 1954. In 1967, the School of Advanced Technology was established—the precursor to the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science that was founded in 1983.



Binghamton's interim president is C. Peter Magrath, who had previously been the school's president from 1972 to 1974. He replaced Lois B. DeFleur, who served as president from 1990–2010. Magrath will hold the position on a temporary basis until a permanent replacement is found.

There are five divisions: Academic Affairs, Administration, External Affairs, Research, and Student Affairs, each of which is managed by a vice president.

Binghamton is part of the State University of New York system and is one of four university centers of the SUNY system. The University is governed by the Board of Trustees of the SUNY system. The Binghamton University Council also exists to oversee certain aspects of the school's governance such as student conduct, budget and physical facilities. Nine of the ten members are appointed by the governor of New York, with the remaining member elected by the student body.[11]

The University has an endowment of $72,401,336 as of June 30, 2010.[2] The endowment and fundraising campaigns are managed by the Binghamton University Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation established to further the mission of Binghamton.[12]

Colleges and schools

Academic A, School of Management

Binghamton comprises the following colleges and schools:

  • Harpur College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest of Binghamton's schools. It is home to more than 7,000 undergraduates and more than 1,200 graduate students in 29 departments and 12 interdisciplinary degree programs in the fine arts, humanities, natural and social sciences, and mathematics. Harpur's current dean is Donald Nieman.
  • The College of Community and Public Affairs offers an undergraduate major in human development as well as graduate programs in social work, public administration, and student affairs administration. It was formed in July 2006 after a reorganization of its predecessor, the School of Education and Human Development.[13] Patricia Ingraham is the current dean.
  • Decker School of Nursing was established in 1969.[14] The school offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing. The school's current dean is Joyce Ferrario and it is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • The School of Education was formed in July 2006 as part of the same reorganization that created the College of Community and Public Affairs. It offers master’s of science and doctoral degrees and is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).[15] SOE's dean is S.G. Grant.
  • The School of Management is one of the nation's top 40 business schools (top 15 among public schools) and the most selective school on the Binghamton campus.[citation needed] It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in management, finance, information science, marketing and accounting. Upinder Dhillon oversees the school as dean and Koffman Scholar of Finance. It is accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science is one of the fastest growing schools on campus.[citation needed] It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, bioengineering, industrial engineering, materials science and computer science. Its current dean is Krishnaswami "Hari" Srihari. All of the school's departments have been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

The Graduate School administers advanced-degree programs and awards degrees through the six component colleges above. Graduate students will find almost 70 areas of study. Undergraduate and graduate students are taught and advised by a single faculty.

The University has officially announced plans to launch a law school. This initiative is in its earliest stages though an external review has been completed and the University is moving forward with its proposal. The administration has been working with SUNY, the governor, the American Bar Association (ABA) and other important organizations regarding required accreditation, which the school expects by the time the first class graduates. No decision on where the school will be located has been made.[16][17]


Binghamton's New Downtown Campus in July 2007
The Couper Administration Building

Binghamton has grown to include roughly 120 buildings, including recent additions from a $2.2 billion SUNY capital plan. New facilities include a housing complex; academic facilities; an indoor multipurpose Events Center to accommodate the University's commencement exercises, Bearcat athletic events and other activities; an addition to the University Union and the partially completed Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC). Another significant addition is the $29 million University Downtown Center in downtown Binghamton, which opened in fall 2007 and houses the College of Community and Public Affairs. Most recently, the 2007 soccer season saw the debut of a new outdoor soccer and lacrosse stadium, construction on a $66-million engineering and science building at the ITC is well underway and the University has broken ground for its Center of Excellence building, also at the ITC.

A unique feature of the main campus is that it is shaped like a brain. The primary road on campus creates a closed loop to form the cerebrum and cerebellum, and the main entrance road creates the spinal cord which leads up to a traffic circle (representing the medulla). The main road is thus frequently referred to as The Brain. The connector road, which goes behind the Mountainview and College-in-the-Woods residential communities, is closed for a portion of the year (from late fall to spring). The campus is spread over 930 acres (3.8 km2) just south of the Susquehanna River. It features a 190 acres (0.77 km2) Nature Preserve, which contains forest and wetland areas and includes a six-acre (24,000 m²) pond, named Harpur Pond, that adjoins the campus.

Facilities and places[18]


  • The Glenn G. Bartle Library, named after the University’s first president, contains collections in the humanities, social sciences, government documents and collections in mathematical and computer sciences. Additionally, Bartle Library houses the Fine Arts Collection (focusing on works relating to art, music, theater and cinema) and Special Collections (containing the Max Reinhardt Collection, as well as the Edwin A. Link and Marion Clayton Link Archives).
  • The Science Library contains materials in all science and engineering disciplines, as well as a map collection.
  • The University Downtown Center (UDC) Library and Information Commons, opened in August 2007, supports the departments of social work, human development and public administration.

The libraries offer a number of services including research consultation and assistance, a laptop lending program, customized instruction sessions and three information commons located in the Bartle, Science and UDC libraries. The libraries offer access to various online databases to facilitate research for students and faculty.[19] The entire campus is also served by a wireless Internet network which all students, staff and faculty have access to, funded in part by mandatory student technology fees. The computing services center supports Windows, Macintosh and Linux systems, both in public computer labs and for students' personal computers.

Anderson Center for the Performing Arts

Anderson Center at Binghamton University

This theater complex has three main stages: Watters Theater, seating 550; the Chamber Hall, seating 450; and the Osterhout Concert Theater, seating 1,200. The concert theater has the ability to become an open-air venue, with its movable, floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open up to a grassy hill. The Anderson Center has hosted world-class performers such as the Russian Symphony and Ballet, the Prague National Symphony and the Shakespearian Theater Company. In March 2006, an overflow house, filling all of the Anderson Center's theaters, was present to hear guest speaker Noam Chomsky.

University Art Museums

The University's art collection is housed more than one location, but all within the Fine Arts Building. The building's main-level gallery hosts various artifacts which belong to the Permanent Collection, though typically showcases student work on a rotating basis. The Permanent Collection in the basement level of the building showcases ancient art from Egypt, China and other locales. Lastly, the Elsie B. Rosefsky Gallery, just off the Grand Corridor, displays special exhibits and portfolios.

Events Center

The Events Center is the area's largest venue for athletics, concerts, fairs and more. Home court to the Binghamton Bearcats basketball teams, the facility seats about 5,300 people for games. For concerts, Commencement and other larger events, the Events Center can hold up to 10,000 people. Home site for the America East Conference Men's Basketball Championships in 2005, 2006, and 2008, the court hosted the women's championships in 2007. It's also held intercollegiate indoor track meets, tennis matches and wrestling matches, as well as opening and closing ceremonies for the Empire State Games. Its construction cost $33.1M and it opened in 2004.

Other athletic facilities

Besides the Event Center, the north end of campus houses two separate gyms—the East Gym and the West Gym—for student recreation and varsity athletic purposes. The East Gym is currently undergoing a major renovation, which is expected to be complete in winter 2012. Other varsity facilities include baseball and softball fields, the Bearcats Sports Complex (a soccer and lacrosse stadium) and an outdoor track. Other student recreation features are a series of playing fields used for soccer, football, rugby and ultimate frisbee.

Nature Preserve

University Nature Preserve, Vestal, NY

The University's Nature Preserve is 190-acre (0.77 km2) located on the southern end of campus and is referred to as the largest laboratory on campus. Students have actively worked to make sure the space remains untouched. The preserve features approximately 10 miles of maintained paths, a large lake, marsh areas, vernal pools, tall hills and a hill-top meadow. A popular hang-out spot is the long wooden boardwalk constructed across one of the marshes, overlooking the lake.

Science Complex

The science complex includes four instructional and office buildings—soon to be five when the construction of Science 5 concludes in August 2011—as well as a greenhouse[20] and the Science Library. Buildings are named sequentially as Science 1 through 4.

Academic Complex

The Academic Complex is a two-building complex which opened in 1999. Academic A houses the School of Management and Undergraduate Admissions. Academic B houses the Decker School of Nursing and the School of Education.

University Union

Clock Tower, University Union

The University Union is divided into two sections, sometimes referred to as the old Union and the new Union, sometimes referred to as Union East and West respectively, yet called "University Union (UU)" and "University Union West (UUW)" by the University itself. The Union houses many student organizations, a food co-op, the food court, Susquehanna Room dining area, a number of meeting spaces, many new classrooms, the University Bookstore and a branch of M&T Bank.

Innovative Technologies Complex

More commonly known as the ITC, the Innovative Technologies Complex is a new development intended to advance venture capital research in both the support of the University's activities as well as supporting local high-technology industry. Currently the complex is a single building, formerly belonging to NYSEG adjacent to the main campus, which has been extensively renovated. Construction is underway on a second building on the site for engineering and science facilities. The University broke ground in October 2010 for the third building on the site, which will house the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center, its New York State Center of Excellence. Early talks indicated plans for a six-building complex at its completion.

Residential communities

Mountainview College

Residence halls at Binghamton are grouped into seven communities. The apartment communities used to house graduate students, but now house undergraduates. Of the residential colleges, Dickinson Community and Newing College feature corridor-style double-occupancy rooms, while College-in-the-Woods mixes suites and double- and triple-occupancy rooms, and Hinman College and Mountainview College (the newest of the communities) consist of suites, exclusively. Susquehanna Community and Hillside Community contain only apartments.

The newly completed Newing College, opened in Fall 2011, is part of the University's East Campus building project. Newing and Dickinson communities are being taken down and new buildings are being erected in their stead, along with a new collegiate center and dining facility. This entire project is slated to be completed in 2013.[21][unreliable source?]

  • Dickinson Community: Named for Daniel S. Dickinson, a mid-19th century U.S. Senator from surrounding area, important as the "Defender of the Constitution" in pre-Civil War era. Buildings are named after other prominent local figures, including founders of the University. The buildings of this community are currently being replaced with new buildings, scheduled to be completed in 2013.
  • Hinman College: Named for New York State Senator Harvey D. Hinman. Buildings are named after former New York State governors.
  • Newing College: Named for Stuart Newing a local automobile dealer who was active in the effort to have SUNY purchase Triple Cities College. Buildings are named for Southern Tier towns and counties. Newing College was recently rebuilt completely, and the new residence halls and student center/dining hall opened in Fall 2011. The remaining older Newing buildings have been demolished to make room for the new Dickinson Community, which is currently in the early stages of construction.
  • College-In-The-Woods: Named for its location in a wooded area of the campus. Buildings are named after tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. College-in-The-Woods opened for residency in the fall of 1973.
  • Mountainview College: The four individual residential halls – Cascade, Hunter, Marcy, and Windham – were named after peaks in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains and each house up to 300 students. Mountainview is the most recent, fully new community to open at Binghamton as of June, 2009. It was completed between 2003 and 2004.[22]
  • Susquehanna Community: Buildings are named for tributaries of the Susquehanna River, which flows through the city of Binghamton.
  • Hillside Community: Named for its location at the highest part of the Binghamton campus. Halls are named for New York State parks. The 16 apartment buildings are ordered in alphabetical order clockwise.

Current and future construction

Currently, Binghamton is executing and planning several projects to facilitate the growth of the University in terms of population, research capacity and quality.[23]

  • The East Campus Housing Project will reconstruct the Newing and Dickinson residential communities; construction began in late spring 2008 with the construction of one new building in Newing.[24] At completion, East Campus will consist of two entirely new housing communities and a collegiate center/dining hall.
  • The Innovative Technologies Complex, currently consisting of just one building, will eventually consist of six buildings at completion. The entire complex is dedicated primarily to venture capital research in the areas of science and engineering. The second and third buildings are currently underway. This second building will house some Watson School of Engineering departments (with the exception of computer science and system science). The third building with house the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center (S3IP), the University's New York State Center of Excellence.[25]
  • A fifth science building began construction in spring 2009 to expand the existing science complex on the main campus. The new facility will host the biology and psychology departments. Once completed, renovations will begin to the existing buildings Science 3 and Science 4.[26]
  • The original University Union underwent major construction and is now open with minor finishing touches still being applied.
  • Various pathway, bridge, pipeline and other infrastructure work is taking place. Projects, such as paths and bridges are creating increased access to expanding portions of campus, aesthetic contributions and other are simply require repair.

The SUNY facility master plan for Binghamton University has released several plans through a couple of open forums, among which possible constructions of a new Globalization Center and a new Student Service & Academic Center were raised. The current visitor's parking lot and the east campus will be the main venue where these constructions happen.[27]


  • Bus transportation on campus and in local neighborhoods with a high density of students is provided by the student owned and operated Off Campus College Transport (OCCT). OCCT is entirely student run and is free for all students; it is supported by the student activity and transportation fees, paid as part of tuition, and by funds and resources provided by the university. OCCT is managed by the Student Association.
  • Students are able to ride the Broome County Transit bus system for free, paid for through a portion of the transportation fee.[28]
  • ESCAPE Student Bus Service, operated by the Student Association, provides coach transportation to students between the Vestal campus and the New York metropolitan area on weekends and on university breaks.


Eighty-four percent of undergraduate students at Binghamton are residents of New York state, with more than 60 percent from the greater New York City area and the remainder from all corners of the state. The remaining 16 percent of the undergraduate student body is made up of residents of other states in the U.S. (7.5 percent) and international students (8.5 percent) from around the world.[29][30] Binghamton employs close to 600 full-time faculty, 93 percent of whom have PhDs or equivalents in their fields.[31]


Binghamton offers more than 80 academic undergraduate majors and more than 30 graduate majors. There also exist interdisciplinary programs that allow individualized degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. There are also several combined-degree programs which allow students to complete both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years. The school offers several early assurance programs which guarantee acceptance to graduate/professional schools outside of Binghamton, such as SUNY Upstate Medical School. Binghamton is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

General education

The University requires students to have completed 12 general education requirements in order to graduate, with some exceptions[32] depending on the school. These include courses in aesthetics, global inter-dependencies, humanities, laboratory science, language and communication, mathematics, physical activity and wellness, social science and U.S. pluralism.[33] Individual schools within the University have additional requirements.[34] Students in Harpur College must complete a minimum of 126 credits to graduate. Most classes at Binghamton are worth four credits, rather than the more usual three. The typical undergraduate's course load thus consists of four courses (for 16 credits) rather than the usual five (for 15 credits).

Rankings and reputation

  • The University was named a Public Ivy by Howard and Matthew Greene in a book titled The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities (2001).[35]
  • The University was ranked by U.S. News in 2010 the 11th Up-and-Coming Schools which are making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, and student life.[36]
  • Binghamton was ranked 79th in the 2010 National Universities category of the Washington Monthly College rankings [37]
  • Binghamton is ranked 86th among the 262 national universities ranked in the 2011 U.S. News America's Best Colleges and Universities ranking.
  • According to the 2010 BusinessWeek rankings, the School of Management was ranked 12th among Public Schools in the nation and has the 2nd best accounting program. The school is in the top 4 undergraduate Business Schools in New York State, along with New York University (NYU), Columbia University and Cornell University.[38] The accounting program is top 10 in CPA examination scores and with the finance and other concentration is the 3rd largest feeder to the Big Four accounting firms.
  • According to Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, Binghamton was ranked the #5 best value for in-state students (the highest in New York State) and #1 for out-of-state students in 2009-2010,.[39]
  • Binghamton was ranked 197th among all 4-year schools by Forbes 2011 America's Best Colleges rankings.[40]
  • Fiske Guide to Colleges has labeled Binghamton as "The Premier Public University in the Northeast," a statement that has become prominent in the university's marketing efforts.One-Hour College Finder: The Best Bargains

Admissions and finance

Binghamton University is one of the most selective schools in the SUNY system. In 2009, the University received approximately 33,000 applications for less than 2,000 spaces in the freshman class.

  • Binghamton has a middle 50 percent SAT Score (Math + Verbal): 1200–1380,[41] 1286 average (the national average is 1017), a four-year graduation rate: 70 percent (third highest among all public schools according to the National Education Trust), an acceptance rate of 32%.[42][43][44]
  • According to the latest data (2010), Binghamton University has the following records: median SAT score: 1190-1360; median ACT score: 27-30; Freshmen Retention Rate: 91% (National Avg. 65.7%); Student To Faculty Ratio: 20:1; Academic Offerings: Nearly 130; Freshmen Enrolled: 2,050; Transfers Enrolled: 886; median High School GPA: 91-96; Average Transfer GPA: 3.4.[45]
  • The average debt at graduation is $14,734, and the school is in the Top 15 Lowest debt-load amongst public colleges in the country.[44]


The University is designated as an advanced research institution, thus a number of research opportunities exist for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Division of Research[46]

  • The office of the vice president for research is in charge of the Division of Research in the University and s/he publishes a biannual magazine that highlights research happening at the University. The University received more than $44 million in outside research grants in fiscal year 2009-2010.[47]
  • The Office of Sponsored Programs supports the Binghamton University community in its efforts to seek and obtain external awards to support research, training and other scholarly and creative activities. It provides support to faculty and staff in all aspects of proposal preparation, submission and grant administration.
  • The Office of Research Compliance ensures the protection of human subjects, the welfare of animals, safe use of select agents pathogens and toxins, and to enhance the ethical conduct in research programs at Binghamton University. The research compliance office values integrity and accountability in the conduct of all research.
  • The Office of Research Advancement facilitates the growth of Binghamton University research and scholarship and help build awareness of the important work being done on campus.
  • The Office of Sponsored Funds Administration, often referred to as “post-award administration,” is the fiscal and operational office for the Binghamton University Research Foundation. It provides sponsored project personnel with comprehensive financial, project accounting, human resources, procurement, accounts payable and reporting services and support for projects administered through the Research Foundation.

Research Foundation

  • The Research Foundation[48] is a private, nonprofit educational corporation that administers externally funded contracts and grants for and on behalf of SUNY. The foundation carries out its responsibilities pursuant to a 1977 agreement with the university. It is separate from the university and does not receive services provided to New York State agencies or state appropriation to support corporate functions. Sponsored program functions delegated to the campuses are conducted under the supervision of foundation operations managers.

Organized Research Centers

  • There are about 30 organized research centers that have been developed to facilitate interdisciplinary and specialized research.[49]

Partnerships with out-of-campus institutions

  • The University operates the Southern Tier Center on Aging in conjunction with the SUNY Upstate Medical Center. The center develops, implements and evaluates new interventions and models of service delivery geared to enhancing quality of life of older adults and their caregivers.[50]

Student life

Student Association and its organizations

The Student Association at Binghamton University,[51] also known as the SA, bills itself as "an all encompassing organization of which every undergraduate student is a member," and functions as Binghamton's student government.[52] The Student Association is an independent non-profit organization and is one of the only student governments in the nation to operate with complete autonomy from its associated university. The Student Association's approximately $2 million annual operating budget is funded by the student activity fee, which is collected with tuition and approved by the undergraduate student body at referendum every other year.

The Student Association retains the sole right to charter and recognize groups on campus, other than social fraternities and sororities. Currently, the SA recognizes approximately 200 student organizations. Any undergraduate student may charter a Student Association group.

Greek Life

Recognized National Pan-Hellenic Council Fraternities

Recognized National Pan-Hellenic Council Sororities

Recognized LGC Fraternities

Recognized LGC Sororities

Recognized IFC Fraternities

Recognized Pan-Hellenic Sororities

Professional Fraternities

Press and radio

Binghamton Television

Binghamton Television[53] is a closed-circuit television station, which provides student programming to the campus community. Types of programming include TV shows, commercials, and event coverage such as lectures, meetings, and athletics.

BTV was founded in April 1989 after it was renamed from Harpur Television Workshop.

Pipe Dream student newspaper

Founded in 1946 as The Colonial News, the name was changed to Pipe Dream in 1970. This paper publishes twice-weekly issues which are free and distributed across campus.

Prospect Magazine

Prospect is a left-leaning political action magazine focusing on campus and national events.

Binghamton Review

Founded in 1987, Binghamton Review is a monthly magazine that provides conservative and libertarian perspectives on campus, local, and national issues.

Free Press

Founded in 2006, The Free Press is arguably the more left-leaning of the student papers at Binghamton. It is published bi-weekly with a variety of content from op-ed to entertainment focusing on topics of interest to the student body.


WHRW, an FM radio station staffed by students and community members, is a free-format college and community FM radio station. WHRW was started in 1966 by Joseph Bress, the station's first general manager. He was succeeded by David Cooper, '67, who was responsible for derailing the political career of Binghamton's mayor, Joseph Esworthy.[citation needed] On the "Open Line" call-in radio show, Mayor Esworthy agreed with the legalization of marijuana in a response to a question by Cooper. The Evening Press picked up the story the next day, and subsequently he lost his re-election bid.

In addition, there are several smaller newspapers and magazines published by various student groups.

A Cappella

Binghamton University is home to 9 different acappella groups. They are The Binghamton Crosbys, The Binghamton Treblemakers, The Binghamton Vibrations, The Binghamtonics, The Harpur Harpeggios, Kaskeset, Koinonia, No Strings Attached, and Rhythm Method.

Service Organizations

Harpur's Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service

Formed in 1973, Harpur's Ferry provides EMS care for the Binghamton University Campus and all off-campus students.

High Hopes Crisis Intervention and Information Hotline

High Hopes is a student-run and managed hotline which has been in operation for over 40 years. It is supervised by the University Counseling Center. The hotline provides services to both students and residents in Broome County.[54]

Student Volunteer Center

The Binghamton University Student Volunteer Center hosts, sponsors and refers students to service events on campus and in the Greater Binghamton area. The organization is often referred to by its acronym "SVC" and is one of the largest and most active organizations on the Binghamton University campus.[54]


Binghamton has been a member of the NCAA Division III for most of its history. Originally a Division III school, President DeFleur spearheaded an aggressive campaign to become a Division I school. After a three-year transition period in Division II, the school joined Division I in 2001. This was not without controversy, however, due to the perceived cost to the university. Today, it is a member of the America East Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association in wrestling. As a part of the transition to Division I, a $33.1 million Events Center for basketball, track and tennis was constructed. In 2007, a $3.6 million stadium with turf fields for soccer and lacrosse, were completed. Binghamton's mascot is now the Bearcat; the team was known as the Colonials before the transition to Division I.

On March 14, 2009, the Binghamton Bearcats Men's Basketball team won the America East championship, securing its first bid in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. It lost in the first round to Duke. However, the school has been heavily criticized, particularly by the New York Times, for incidents and behavior among the players and coaches on the 2008-09 basketball team related to substance abuse, sale of narcotics, NCAA recruiting violations, and abuse of admissions standards for under-performing student athletes.[55] A state investigation determined that school officials compromised the school's reputation and integrity to build a competitive program.

In May 2009, the men's baseball team played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The Bearcats placed third at the regional, becoming the first America East team to win an NCAA game in four years and just the third AE team in 14 years to win a game.


Alumni Association

The Binghamton University Alumni Association is nearly as old as the University itself. The Harpur College Alumni Association elected its first officers in 1951, following the first Commencement. As Harpur College grew and became a part of the State University of New York, the Alumni Association grew and today serves as the umbrella organization for a number of alumni groups and activities.

The University's Office of Alumni Relations supports the Alumni Association, working on behalf of its board of directors, an all-volunteer policy-setting body. The Association represents more than 100,000 alumni, and is a non-dues paying organization. All graduates automatically become members and are entitled to the quality services and activities provided by the association.

Among other events on and off campus, the Alumni Association sponsors the University's annual Homecoming weekend.

Notable alumni


Economic Impact

According to a 2009 report from the University’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning, University faculty, staff, students and visitors spent more than $463 million in the 2007–08 fiscal year, creating an economic impact of about $750 million in Broome County over $1 billion in New York State alone.[57]

Alma Mater

The university's alma mater, "In the Rolling Hills of Binghamton", was composed by David Engel '86, and is performed at the University's Commencement each January and May.


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  2. ^ a b Financial Overview 2009-2010
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  8. ^ History of Harpur College
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  14. ^ Decker’s male enrollment tops national average, Inside BU, February 10, 2005
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  30. ^ Binghamton (SUNY) Overview - CollegeData College Profile
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  55. ^ Thamel, Pete (February 12, 2010). "Report Faults Binghamton's Leaders in Scandal". The New York Times. 
  56. ^ Michael Shernoff, 57, Gay-Health Therapist, Is Dead, The New York Times, June 21, 2008
  57. ^ Binghamton News Release

External links

Coordinates: 42°05′21″N 75°58′12″W / 42.089250°N 75.969890°W / 42.089250; -75.969890

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