President's Report Masthead
September 1, 2016

CCPA celebrates 10th anniversary

Laura Bronstein, dean of the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA) told a story of resilience as she welcomed a crowd Thursday that filled the first floor of the University Downtown Center to celebrate the school’s 10th anniversary.

After first explaining that it’s the school’s 10th anniversary – it was founded in 2006 – but not the building’s 10th anniversary – it was opened in 2007 – Bronstein joked that there could be another 10th anniversary celebration for the building next year.

“We see ourselves as a vital part of the economic development of this community,” she said. “We value being here and the community is the lifeblood of the work we do. We encourage you to be our partners.”

President Harvey Stenger recounted how the school had been displaced following the flood of 2011, but returned only one year later to its downtown location. “The college itself was resilient. And with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent and more than 2,400 open jobs, we do believe downtown Binghamton is on the upswing.

“But we need more help,” he said. “We haven’t solved the poverty problem. CCPA, this anchor tenant in downtown, is where we can begin and reach out and help.

“But the problem is so large that we can’t do it alone,” Stenger added, paraphrasing a prominent president who said, “If not now, when? If not us, who?”

Recalling how the site of the University Downtown Center was a vacant parking lot 10 years ago, Binghamton Mayor Rich David, an alumnus of the public administration program, said the stakeholders had a belief and vision “that has had a catalytic and transformative impact on the city of Binghamton.”

“I can tell you that this building has a direct impact on the progress we’ve seen over the last decade and has encouraged much of the private investment we have seen in housing and retail,” he said.
“It has snowballed after this building was occupied and the best is yet to come.

“This building is a shining example of our partnerships,” David added.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s regional representative Amanda Spellicy, who also earned her master’s degree in public administration from CCPA, congratulated the school and read a letter from Schumer that noted it hasn’t always been easy, but “you have built one of New York’s and the nation’s preeminent public service institutions and you practice what you teach. As a public servant, I am proud to see an institution dedicated to the ideals of community service and civic engagement grow and thrive in the Southern Tier.”

Founding dean Patricia Ingraham, who retired in 2013, was recognized with a plaque for her leadership in building the foundation as well as the bridge to the community. Noting that it seems impossible that 10 years has passed, Ingraham said the time was marked by “remarkable times with extraordinary highs as well as moments that would truly make good case material.

“We had a purpose and mission so important that it drove over the good and the bad and guaranteed we could be an important part of the community and be successful. We managed to mush on,” she said. “With the support of a great community network and a fabulous team, we have been able to reach this point. I’m proud to be part of the adventure.”

The celebration was capped by a performance by Stacy Marrow, director of career and professional services for CCPA, singing “One Moment in Time.”