Alumni Relations update
Alumni Global Day of Service
The inaugural Alumni Global Day of Service, held April 18, was a new initiative to engage Binghamton University alumni around the world in community service projects within their respective communities. Nearly 50 alumni stepped forward to lead group projects, such as sorting cans and boxes at food banks; cleaning animal shelters, parks and forests; and assisting with a home build. Alumni had the option of engaging in service on their own if they did not live in a region where a group project was offered. The event was enormously successful as 420 alumni in 10 states and two countries participated. Plans are already underway for the 2016 Global Days of Service, to be held April 15-17.
Alumni Leaders Conference
More than 250 people, including alumni, students and campus partners, participated in the Alumni Leaders Conference, held April 24-25 on campus. This annual event sponsored by the Alumni Association informs alumni volunteers and student leaders about the University’s opportunities and challenges, while inspiring them to continue their service to the campus community. The conference is also an occasion to bring students and alumni together for professional networking.
At the conference, the Alumni Association presented the Binghamton University Plan for Alumni Engagement 2015-2020, the result of the first-ever, campus-wide collaboration on strategies to involve more graduates in the life of the University. Directives in the engagement plan support the Alumni Association’s overarching goals: to be the University’s central organization for alumni relations, develop high-quality programs and benefits for alumni, create opportunities for alumni to connect with each other and students, create spirit and pride, and support a dynamic volunteer program.
The culmination of the Alumni Leaders Conference was the presentation of the Alumni Association Special Recognition Awards. Actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson ’78, who appeared in the recent feature film Selma, was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. Renowned travel photographer Peter Guttman ’76 received the inaugural Alumni Achievement Award; Ronald G. Ehrenberg ’66, SD ’08, the Irving M. Ives Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics at Cornell University, received the Glenn G. Bartle Distinguished Alumnus Award; Stuart Douglas Hirsch ’95, ’10, who founded the medical mission team Archangel Airborne, was presented with the Edward Weisband Distinguished Alumnus Award; and Dan Cherico ’08, co-chair of the Alumni Association’s Metro New York Chapter, received the Lois B. DeFleur Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. The Alumni Association also presented Medals of Distinguished Service to the following alumni for their volunteer service to the University: Randall Borkenstein ’87, Tracy Caliendo ’97, Diane Fischer Castiglione ’82, Tina Gerardi, MS ’85, Kenneth Goldblatt ’87, Andre Hankey ’01, MA ’03, MSW ’05, Kevin Hoo ’96, Howard A. Rein ’76 and Ben Vanderlinde ’84.
Alumni Association board elections
The Alumni Association elected the following officers to terms that began May 1: Heidi B. Goldstein ’81, president; Gary Kibel ’90, MBA ’92, vice president; Mary Beth Curtin ’82, MAT ’86, MA ’87, treasurer; and Lisa Abbott, MBA ’93, secretary. Taris Burgess ‘08, Scott Feuer ‘90, Marilyn Gaska, MS ‘85, PhD ‘99, Steven Kahn ‘91, Kelli Krieger, MAT ‘02, MA ‘03, and Nancy Wackstein ‘73, LHD ‘13, begin their terms of service on the board on July 1.
The Cheers to Commencement brunch, held one week prior to graduation, welcomed members of the Class of 2015 into the Alumni Association. More than 400 soon-to-be graduates attended the brunch to celebrate their accomplishments with friends, Alumni Association volunteers and campus leaders. June receptions held in the Metro New York area and in Binghamton were occasions to bring alumni together and welcome the newest graduates into the association. The Manhattan event on June 9 also celebrated the second anniversary of the relaunched Metro New York Chapter.
During Commencement weekend, several alumni were honored by their respective schools for their illustrious achievements since graduating from Binghamton University. One of those alumni was Stephanie Courtney ’92, who was the featured speaker at the Harpur College Fine Arts and Humanities ceremony. Courtney, known by millions as “Flo,” traded her Progressive Insurance garb for academic regalia, and inspired the newest graduates to “go ahead and change the world.”