June 4, 2015 – College Towns Revisited, Drumm et al

Photo credit: Jonathan Cohen / Binghamton University
Photo credit: Jonathan Cohen / Binghamton University

Speakers and Biographies
Kevin Drumm, President, SUNY Broome Community College
Terry McDonald, Executive Director, Roberson Museum & Science Center
Elaine Miller, Director, Housing & Community Development, Binghamton Housing Authority
Robert Murphy, Office of Economic Development, City of Binghamton

For our final presentation, we are delighted to welcome back Kevin Drumm, president of SUNY Broome Community College, to continue to topic of College Towns that he kicked off in the first meeting of the 2014-2015 speakers series. Kevin will be hosting the presentation and discussing college towns with other panelists who will speak about projects in Greater Binghamton that are occurring naturally or as a result of the first college town conversation last fall. Some communities—realizing the economic vitality of the long-standing, historic college towns—have intentionally set out to build college towns as an economic and community development strategy. This event will remind participants of the attributes that define college towns and also make them attractive to young professionals. We will showcase projects in the Greater Binghamton area that make the area more attractive to young professionals and encourage the region’s reputation as a college town. Topics will include Roberson’s new Tourism study, and the “Triple Cities Campus Village” project for Greater Binghamton. A good college town is attractive to people of all ages, and to businesses looking for strong economies and opportunities to grow.  To achieve this, our community must be positioned as a center for innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, as well as a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

Presentation PowerPoint(s)
College Towns – Drumm
The Roberson & College Towns – McDonald
Triple Cities Campus Village – Miller
Building a Better Binghamton – Murphy


(Run time: 01:54:46)
Please click here to view the speakers along with their presentations.

Binghamton University Downtown Center, Room 228

Presenters – Kevin Drumm (SUNY Broome Community College), Terry McDonald (Roberson Museum and Science Center), Elaine Miller (Binghamton Housing Authority), Robert Murphy (Office of Economic, City of Binghamton)

Attendees – Brian Bauer (Executive In Residence at Southern Tier Startup Alliance), James Baumgartner (Nagare Consulting), Peggy Benz (Retired), Sherman Bodner (Retired), Mark Bowers (NYS Dept. of Transportation), Chris Burger (Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition), Stephen J. Campbell (Morgan Stanley), Thomas Costello (City of Binghamton), Michael Decker (ERA Decker Real Estate), John Duncan, Stacey Duncan (The Agency Broome County IDA/LDC), Robin Eccleston (Stafkings/STAHR), Donna Fish (Organizational Effectiveness Strategies), Kathryn Fletcher (Ad Elements), John Flynn (Broome County Purchasing), Wren Fritsky (Binghamton University), Tony Frontera (Southern Tier Startup Alliance), Howard Garrity (SBA), John Gutenberger (Cornell), Alison Handy Twang (Rural Health Network SCNY), John Hayek (Southern Tier Opportunity Coalition), Janet Hertzog (SUNY Broome Community College), Lawrence Kiley (Broome Tioga BOCES), Thomas Kowalik (SUNY BEST, Binghamton University), Carolyn Lewis (SUNY Oneonta), Michael Marinaccio (Town of Dickinson), Richard Miller (RAM Consulting Inc), Brendan O’Bryan (Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce), Roni O’Geen (SUNY Empire State College), Clifford F. Olin (Olin Capital), Cyndi Paddick (BMTS), Julie Pitts (Rural Health Network SCNY), Beth Polzin (Binghamton University), Elizabeth Rickard (Career Opportunities in Rural Education), William Ritter (SCORE), Rose Ryan (Independent – Sales/Consultant), Janna Rudler (Bundy Museum of History and Art), Adam Sabol (CommuniKey), John Saraceno (Keystone Associates Architects, Engineers and Surveyors, LLC), Jeff Smith (Endwell Rotary), Jesan Sorrells (Human Services Consulting and Training), Mike Straight (STREDC/NYSERDA), Brad Treat (Entrepreneur In Residence at Southern Tier Startup Alliance), Tim Sweeney (Peak Ecommerce), Mary Whitmore (Liquid Karma Record Label LLC), Jennifer Yonkoski (BMTS)

Discussion Notes
T. Kowalik called the meeting to order and welcomed all attendees. He briefly introduced SUNY BEST’s vision and goals, and reminded attendees SUNY BEST is currently seeking sponsors and website champions for future events. T. Kowalik introduced the speakers.

Kevin Drumm, President SUNY Broome: Boston, Berkley & Binghamton?

    1. Universities are stabilizing factors during times of economic instability.
    2. Virtually all the best ranked mid-size communities have a university at/near its core.
      1. See blog post: “18 Reasons Why Binghamton Is Becoming a Top College Town by Ashley Zachariah,” Binghamton University Blog
    3. Defining characteristics include wide variety of cultural opportunities, historical character, abundant retail services, and a natural ‘amenity.’
      1. See the Top 20 College Towns ranking by the American Institute for Economic Research
    4. Demonstrated SUNY Pulse, an interactive Google map with ‘pins’ indicating new commercial development and significant changes in the region during the last year. See SUNY Pulse below:

Terry McDonald, Executive Director, Roberson Museum & Science Center: Tourism Summit of March/April 2015.

  1. What kind of experiences can the community provide to tourists if we view them as various audience groups, such as:
    • Existing college students and family,
    • Spontaneous visitors from the highway,
    • International visitors to local business or university,
    • Sports, convention & community event goers.
  2. Tourism initiatives submitted to STREDC:
    • Central hub for food/culinary tourism.
    • A multi-purpose sports complex larger than expected for a community our size.
    • Entrepreneur Capital.

Robert Murphy, Director, Economic Development, City of Binghamton.

  1. The community is not marketing/advertising the city and region enough or correctly. We need to create a place where students, adults and retirees want to live and then ‘tell the world.’
  2. Binghamton Timelapse – BingSpot – 3rd Anniversary from Joshua B Ludzki on Vimeo.
  3. Things that make great college towns cost real money that municipalities don’t have. Business and the University have to be bigger contributors.
  4. Make living here exciting again. The City would like to bring back river rafting and establish a kayak course to take advantage of the natural beauty of our rivers.

Elaine Miller, Director, Binghamton Housing Authority.

  1. Elaine described the concept of the ‘Triple Cities Campus Village.’ Planning for the 5,000 additional BU students, faculty and staff expected by 2020.
  2. Key to the Campus Village include:
    • Connectivity-public transportation,
    • Culture such as restaurants & arts,
    • Sense of community – clean & safe & diverse,
    • Confidence- opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurs,
    • Public Urban Spaces – accessible and functional,
    • Neighborhoods – mixed use.

Next Meeting
September 3, 2015