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Retired Assistant Police Chief William "Bill" Dunn and his wife, Ginny, listen to remarks during a ceremony at the University Downtown Center to award him the University Medal, the highest honor Binghamton University can bestow.
Photo by Casey Staff
Retired Assistant Police Chief William Dunn awarded University Medal
January 5, 2017Tweet
From 1974, when he was hired to work in campus safety, until his retirement as Binghamton University’s assistant police chief in 2010, William “Bill” Dunn was dedicated to making the University a safe campus. His efforts were recognized Thursday, Jan. 5, when he was awarded the University Medal by President Harvey Stenger.
The University Medal is the highest honor Binghamton University can bestow and “is given at the discretion of the president to recognize path-breaking achievements and true excellence in one’s career accomplishments; a distinguished commitment to Binghamton University, higher education and the pursuit of knowledge; and/or a demonstrated commitment to the betterment of society through exceptional leadership and mentorship of the next generation.”
The medal ceremony kicked off the 5th annual NYS College and University Emergency Management Workshop at the University Downtown Center, an appropriate setting for Dunn’s recognition.
Dave Hubeny, workshop organizer and Binghamton’s director of emergency management, spoke of Dunn’s lasting impact on the safety of the University.
“Bill was integral in bringing emergency management to the University,” Hubeny said. “He left his fingerprints on the campus – in a good way! He was an educator, law enforcement officer and emergency management supporter. He mentored me, so this is fitting to do at an emergency management conference.”
Stenger, a strong advocate for safety and emergency management programs in general, reminded the audience of how many good and great things can happen at universities – amazing research, meeting future spouses, making best friends and readying to impact the world.
“But I also think of all the bad things that can happen. I didn’t realize so much a part of my job would be safety and emergency management as well,” he said. “I thought somebody else took care of that, but now I realize we’re often faced with bad things that can happen on campus … and it gets more complicated every year so taking care of those issues is something campuses have to worry about. At Binghamton, we do a great job with our Incident Management Team. We’re a model for the rest of SUNY.”
Stenger came to campus after Dunn retired, but knows Dunn’s record of service.
“Bill and I didn’t overlap, but I’ve heard a lot of things about Bill Dunn,” he said. “He was responsible for moving our campus public safety officers through training and turning them into full-fledged University police. He was dedicated to campus safety, sat on the Harpur’s Ferry [student-run ambulance] board and on countless committees. He emphasized community policing and broke down the barriers between students and police in what were often tumultuous times.
“He was the consummate teacher and resident intellectual on our police force, also teaching at the Broome County Law Enforcement Academy and at SUNY Broome,” Stenger added, before he read the inscription on the medal plaque.
“Presented to William ‘Bill’ Dunn. Transformational leader, exemplary teacher, dedicated protector and outstanding member of the campus community. In recognition of his nearly four decades of service to Binghamton University and public safety, during which he helped establish a police force dedicated to the highest levels of professionalism and community engagement.”
A well-known storyteller, Dunn kept his remarks brief.
“I admire Mark Twain a great deal,” he said. “Twain said ‘there is no more painful death than to be bored to death,’ so I’ll only speak for a minute.
“I was shocked and had no idea I was going to receive this. I thank my family for being here, my wife, daughters, sons and sons-in-law, my brother and sister-in-law. Thank you for being here and thank you very much for this award.”