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The new Zurack Family High-Technology Collaboration Center is located adjacent to the Newcomb Reading Room in the Glenn G. Bartle Library.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Homecoming 2016: Zurack high-tech center is dedicated
September 26, 2016Tweet
“We’re here celebrating the generosity of our alumnus, advisor and good friend, Mark Zurack ’78,” Vice President for Advancement Jim Broschart said at the dedication of the Zurack Family High-Technology Collaboration Center. “Each and every time Mark chooses to make an impact on campus, he acts in a strategic, laser-like way.
“Mark saw the opportunity for a high-tech, highly-engaging, high-quality, comfortable space so all of our alumni around world can connect with our students,” Broschart added. “And this is all about connections.”
Members of the campus community were joined by the Alumni Association Board of Directors in at the dedication in the new facility, adjacent to the Newcomb Reading Room in the Glenn G. Bartle Library.
President Harvey Stenger remarked that the new classroom is truly collaborative – “our key word for the year” – and reminded those present of the many donations Zurack has made to the University: an endowed professorship, the Zurack Trading Room, scholarships. “Mark and Kathy have been very generous with us.”
Stenger recalled that Mark Zurack was the first person he met in his first interview for the presidency. “I still remember the question he asked. ‘Do you have any experience raising money?’ And I stuttered and stammered,” Stenger said to laughter.
“We wanted a platform that allows alumni to join meetings, a classroom that emphasizes high-tech and the ability for someone to call in and to be able to share what’s going on in the classroom with others, said James Piterresi, vice provost and executive director of the Center for Learning and Teaching. “It’s exciting to see the infrastructure, furniture, layout and feel of the space come together and see where Mark’s vision and love for the University has come together.”
“Mark has supported this classroom as a place where technology is at the highest end,” Stenger said. “It’s not just a classroom; our faculty are using it on a daily basis to teach and it’s also where faculty can learn to use the technology to see what they like, what works for them. Our goal is to help our students be more successful.”
Students will learn faster and deeper and add a new dimension to Binghamton as well, Stenger said. “You’re going to see that the configuration is flexible and can be used for small meetings or café style. It will improve our students’ sense of belonging and that‘s a critical thing in today’s world. It will make them want to stay here, graduate from here and be our supporters.
“Mark, you’ve moved us in a direction that will make us the premier public of the 21st century,” Stenger said.
“I’ve been working with the school for about 15 years on different projects and I tell anyone who asks me, of all the nonprofits I work with, Binghamton is the most productive and user-friendly,” Zurack said. “I always feel like I’ve accomplished something here and hope to do more in the future.”
Zurack said it took awhile to land on the high-tech classroom idea, but once it was decided, “it was a seamless process and happened very quickly.”
“It’s exceeded my expectations,” Zurack said. “And I’d like to make one final point. Post my first career on Wall Street, I’m now a professor and I appreciate this from the perspective of a donor as well as one who teaches. This space opens up different avenues of teaching. Thank you all and I hope you get to use the facility in some shape or form.”