SUNY Broome is officially turning 75!
Dr. Kevin E. Drumm, SUNY Broome’s 7th President, hosted a press conference on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 to share the College’s 75th anniversary plans with the public. Members of the campus community and the media gathered in the gallery, housed in the Cecil C. Tyrrell Library, to explore the anniversary exhibit, listen to an oral history of the College, and learn about upcoming celebratory events.
“I am deeply honored to be part of the team that ushers the College through such a momentous milestone… It is truly remarkable that over 52,000 graduates proudly call the New York State Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences at Binghamton (1946), Broome County Technical Institute (1953), Broome Technical Community College (1956), Broome Community College (1971), and SUNY Broome Community College their alma mater and have used their education in business, professional studies, healthcare, STEM, and liberal arts to enter professional roles across the state, country, and the world,” said Dr. Drumm.
Dr. Drumm welcomed Professor Emeritus and SUNY Distinguished Professor, Douglas E. Garnar, to present a brief history of SUNY Broome. Professor Garnar has been connected to SUNY Broome for fifty years.
“What does the history of our college tell us? It’s a reflection of war, technology, and democracy… I’d like you to think about the history of the College as a case study on a series of never-ending experiments on how to meet the educational needs of the local community,” shared Professor Garnar.
In 1946, the Department of Education agreed to establish five applied arts and sciences institutions across New York as a post-World War II, state-funded experiment in higher education. This initiative coincided with a study on higher education conducted the following year under President Harry Truman, which called for a massive expansion of free, public, two-year colleges. These community colleges were referred to as “Democracy’s Colleges.”
Over the past 75 years, SUNY Broome has had a few names and few locations, but it’s the College’s ability to progressively and creatively adapt, that has kept SUNY Broome thriving as a home for higher education for the region.
“The College has shown a great deal of resilience and ability to reinvent itself through the collaborative efforts of facility, staff, administrators, trustees, and even some people from outside the campus in the community. I won’t be here when it celebrates its 100th anniversary… but I hope that there will be a 100th celebration, and that we will learn something, once again, about the capacity of this College to reinvent itself as a series of never-ending experiments,” said Professor Garnar.
At the conclusion of Professor Garnar’s presentation, Julia Langton, current Presidential Honors Scholar and nursing student, read a letter written by John Basmajian, a member of the College’s first graduating class. In his letter addressed to his “SUNY Broome Family,” Basmajian described the profound experience of riding a city bus home from work and looking up to see a sign advertising the newly developed stop for the New York State Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences at Binghamton. Basmajian read the sign’s list of course offerings and decided to enroll as one of seventeen chemical technology students. After completing eighteen months of classes and two, three-month-long industry internships, Basmajian graduated in 1949 as part of the College’s inaugural class.
At 92, Basmajian closed his letter with the encouraging sentiment to “never stop learning.”
The press conference concluded with an invitation from the Director of Learning Resource Center/Cecil C. Tyrrell Library, Robin Petrus, to visit the 75th Anniversary gallery exhibit. This exhibit showcases a comprehensive, decade-by-decade, display of the College’s history through articles, letters, memorabilia, and photographs. The exhibit will run until November 12, 2021 and then will return on December 12, 2021 for an extended period. Visitors can view the displays in conjunction with the Cecil C. Tyrrell Library’s regularly scheduled hours.
Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
*Please Note: Viewing the exhibit after 5:00 p.m. will require guests to check in with the librarian at the front desk.*
In honor of the diamond anniversary, SUNY Broome will continue to host a series of events including ceremonies, assemblies, gallery exhibits, service projects, specialty speakers, appreciation days, an alumni reunion, and some really fantastic and engaging student activities throughout the year.
Whether you are a current student, an alum, a member of our fabulous faculty and staff, or a valued friend of the college, we welcome you to join us in the fun and to attend as many of these events as you can throughout this academic year. Be sure to follow @sunybroome on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter and Snapchat to stay up to date on the celebrations! You can also visit our 75th Anniversary website!