If you need to go to Wal-Mart, Target, Applebee’s, Kohl’s, Lowes or anywhere on the Vestal Parkway this weekend, be prepared for traffic congestion, crowded restaurants and generally a lot of people everywhere. This is graduation weekend at Binghamton University. In all, the university expects to confer at least 3,600 bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees in ceremonies at the Events Center, starting at 830am Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s where it gets dicey for the locals, Binghamton University expects 20,000 guests on campus and along the Vestal Parkway for the various ceremonies. About the expected traffic jam, University Police and Parking Services will handle traffic control on campus. Law enforcement in Broome County, including the State Police, have been briefed on the schedule of activities and are ready to do whatever is needed to keep traffic moving on the Parkway.
Despite the temporary traffic congestion, BU estimates those visitors to the area for graduation will spend $2.4 million in the local economy.
Saturday, May 18
• 8:30 a.m. – Harpur College of Arts and Sciences 1, Events Center
Honorary degree and alumni award recipient remarks: Patricia Saunders ’65
Student speaker: Chelsea Strong
• 12:30 p.m. – Harpur College of Arts and Sciences 2, Events Center
Alumni award recipient remarks: The Honorable Judge Lillian Wan ’87
Student speaker: Melanie Messinger
• 4:30 p.m. – Harpur College of Arts and Sciences 3, Events Center
Alumni award recipient remarks: Kris Ahrend ’92
Student speaker: Tiffany Dun
Sunday, May 19
• 8:30 a.m. – Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, Events Center
Student speakers: Chloe Long and Julie Kunnumpurath
• Noon – College of Community and Public Affairs, Events Center
Student speakers: Sarah Rebecca Cohen (master’s) and Max Musashi Fischman (undergraduate)
• 3:30 p.m. – School of Management, Events Center
Honorary degree and alumni award recipient remarks: Howard Unger ’82
Student speaker: Sofia Haikin