Harpur College of Arts and Sciences celebrated its past, present and future during an Oct. 13 ceremony that dedicated the Harpur College Quad and Wall of Excellence.
“Harpur College has been here 62 years and it is the intellectual heart of the campus,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said. “It’s quite amazing that we have now put that heart where it belongs – in the center of campus.”
More than 300 faculty and staff members, administrators, students and alumni gathered at the Library Tower for the dedication ceremony, which was part of Homecoming 2012. Located along a wall near Jazzman’s Café, the Wall of Excellence features information about Harpur College’s history, along with profiles of outstanding students, accomplished alumni and donors, and distinguished faculty. The Harpur College Quad includes the Pegasus statue, a new walkway and fountain, and the Harpur monument, which was moved from its former location at the University entrance at Bartle Drive.
Guests entered a tent outside the Library Tower to hear from Stenger, Harpur College Interim Dean Wayne Jones, Provost Donald Nieman, Distinguished Teaching Professor Gerald Kadish, alumni Alex Huppé ’69, and student Ilana Solomon.
“This (day) is historic because it recognizes the centrality of Harpur College,” said Jones, who served as master of ceremonies and later led a champagne toast at the Wall of Excellence. “We started in 1950 and over the last 62 years, we have grown into a major research university with multiple colleges and professional schools, and a body of alumni who are so impressive.”
Nieman, who preceded Jones as Harpur College dean, noted that there are a number of reasons for Binghamton University’s continued success: “bright, curious students,” “a world-class faculty and a creative staff” “dedicated and accomplished alumni” and “excellent professional schools.
“But like all great universities, Binghamton’s excellence rests on an outstanding college of arts and sciences – Harpur College,” he said.
Today, Harpur College enrolls more than 60 percent of the University’s students, sponsors more than half of the PhD programs, generates $20 million a year in external funding and offers high-quality core courses for students in all schools, Nieman said.
Nieman praised Jones and the Harpur dean’s staff, including Lee Nesslage and Leah Joggerst of Harpur Constituent Relations, and Lori Fuller and Matt Tynan of Harpur Communications, for making the dedication possible. He also credited Vice President for Administration James Van Voorst for not only coming up with the plan to redesign the area, but naming it Harpur Quad, as well.
“The reason this all came about is that we had to replace the water main on campus,” Nieman said. “Jim saw this as an opportunity not only to (improve) our physical infrastructure, but to create a beautiful space in the heart of campus.”
Nieman said he hopes that the quad and wall will inspire others in the future.
“By building on Harpur College’s proud past and its commitment to excellence, we will be able to reach the destination that President Stenger has pointed us to in the road map process: becoming the premier public university of the 21st century,” he said.
Huppé devoted part of his talk to the stone monument that he said represents not just hope, but home, for many Harpur alumni.
“It’s fitting to have the Glenn Bartle Library facing what we call the pylon or monument,” he said. “It’s Glenn looking out over his monument toward his beloved (town of) Maine off in the hills. There is a perfection to the design of this that a lot of us appreciate.”
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