Binghamton in the City week offers opportunities for alumni to network and gain perspectives
By Steve Seepersaud
On a mid-January evening, there was a chill in the air, and Binghamton green almost anywhere the eye could see. Knit hats featuring the University's 'B' icon were seen whizzing around the ice rink, and the scene looked like something you'd easily encounter on any given weekend in Binghamton.
Instead, it was a Monday night in Manhattan's Bryant Park, Binghamton had taken over the ice rink, and if it felt like the University — even in a small way — had taken over the city, then mission accomplished.
That was the goal of Binghamton in the City week, held in the Metro New York region Jan. 11-15. A series of events figuratively brought the campus to the big city, engaging hundreds of students while they were home for winter break and tapping into the area's alumni base of nearly 50,000.
The unofficial kickoff of the week was the Bryant Park ice skating party on Jan. 11, which attracted more than 600 current and future students, their families and alumni. Baxter made the trip from up north and posed for countless photos with guests, and the event was an evening-long celebration of #BingPride in one of city's coolest venues. See more pictures from the Bryant Park event at our Shutterfly site (photos by Rachael Elana Photography).
"As I approached Bryant Park, I chatted with a prospective student and her mother, and felt so proud to talk about my experience at Binghamton and with the Alumni Association," said Metro New York Chapter Co-Chair Natalie Tod '12. "However, it wasn't until the event really kicked off and people flooded the ice rink that I realized just how many people feel a connection to the University. The event (and the entire week) brought the community together, and I'm grateful to have been a part of it."
Binghamton in the City week had a number of receptions at which alumni could see friends, add to their professional networks and gain new perspectives. A Bearcats of the Last Decade (BOLD) event provided alumni with advice on navigating the fiercely competitive real estate market in the metro area. Real estate professionals and experienced investors discussed the ins and outs of buying and renting in the city.
Rory Clark '05, co-chair of the Metro New York Chapter and a top-performing associate broker with Halstead Property LLC, hosted the event at his workplace and led the discussion. Adam Zinberg '05, real estate associate broker for Douglas Elliman Real Estate; and David Wong '95, apartment owner and property investor, also spoke. Seeing properties can be fun; however, the panelists encouraged the young alumni to do their research before making any decisions.
“I thought the event was great, and we had a full table of about 30 people,” Clark said. “This became more of a conversation than a panel discussion, and everyone had great questions.”
Later in the week, the Alumni Association offered another event for BOLD graduates; a group of four accomplished alumnae discussed challenges, opportunities and success strategies for women in the workplace. The panelists were Lisa Abbott, MBA '93, vice president for health affairs for human resources at the Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center; Doris Braun '83, executive director at JPMorgan Chase and co-chair of JPMorgan's women's business resources group; Dr. Yasmin Hurd '82, professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, and pharmacology and systems therapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine; and Natalie Tod '12, training administrator at Starr Companies. During a live webcast shared with alumni worldwide, the panelists addressed nearly 30 assembled at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan.
About 100 Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) alumni gathered at the Fashion Institute of Technology at an event that introduced a new student-alumni mentoring program and fundraising initiative.
To express appreciation for the incredible generosity of time and energy that alumni volunteers share, the Alumni Association hosted a reception in Manhattan on Jan. 15. This event, which concluded Binghamton in the City week, provided about 150 closely engaged volunteers with a chance to meet others who share their passion for the University.
"The reception was a nice way to close the week," said Cory Jankow '11, who volunteered at Metro Connections Night earlier in the week. He is pictured above with Melissa Bykofsky '11 and Lauren Lundquist '09 (photo by Rachael Elana Photography). "Alumni could talk about all the different events they went to during the week and share positive Binghamton memories. It is always great to see others giving back to Binghamton. Alumni I interacted with when I was a student are still helping today and that passion and enthusiasm are rare." See more pictures from the volunteer reception at our Shutterfly site.
“Some of you have helped our admissions office by attending college fairs,” Alumni Association President Heidi B. Goldstein ’81 said to the attendees. “Others may have offered a student a summer internship, served on a school-based advisory council or volunteered for our Metro New York alumni chapter. We thank and honor each and every one of you! Your continued engagement with the University is truly valuable and the Alumni Association wants you to know that.”
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