From the archives of the Frontal Lobe...
Have you ever wondered who your hall is named after?
CIW's halls are named after Iroquois tribes. Hinman's are named for NYS Governors, and Newing's NY county names. Hillside's buildings are named for New York State Parks, Newing's are named after counties in New York, Hinman's are named after famous New York politicians, and the Graduate Community's been newly renamed "Susquehanna Community" and the buildings are named after famous creeks in the area. However, our own beloved halls do not follow such a logical pattern. Following is information extrapolated from a 1993 Poor Dick's article in order to explain the origin of the Dickinson Community names.
Daniel Steven Dickinson was a well respected school master, lawyer and US Senator. The Town of Dickinson in Broome County is named for him as well. A statue of him is located outside the County Courthouse in downtown Binghamton.
Charles F. Johnson, Jr. was the first chair of Harpur College Council and served as president of Endicott/Johnson Shoes. The families of many Binghamton area residents were immigrants who came to America to work in Johnson's shoe factories. They came to Ellis Island asking "Which way E-J?" Charles F. Johnson gained great popularity and loyalty among his workers because of the many benefits they received, including at-cost housing and the use of several parks in the area built by Johnson. Johnson City in Broome County is named after him.
Robert W. Rafuse was a Professor of Political Science at Harpur College. Professor Rafuse was instrumental in developing the overall educational goals of Harpur College.
From 1950 to 1953 Champlain college (situated near Lake Champlain) was the "sister liberal arts unit of the State University of New York." Both Harpur College and Champlain College were originally created to assist World War 11 veterans. When Champlain College closed in 1953, many of the students and faculty went to Harpur College. Champlain is the only hall in Dickinson not named after a person.
Charles Roberts O'Connor was a key financial supporter of the educational system in New York. O'Connor hall would have been named for the New York State Supreme Court Justice A. Lindsay O'Connor, (brother of Charles O'Connor), but he was still alive at the time of its dedication. Justice O'Connor and his wife made major contributions to the "scholarship objectives of [Harpur College] since its inception as the liberal arts unit of the State University of New York."
Ralph Digman was an Assistant Professor of Geology at Harpur College from 1950 until his early death at age 33.
Joshua Whitney III played a key role in the development of the area that is now known as the Triple Cities and is usually hailed as the founder of Binghamton. He was elected to the New York State Assembly as the first representative from the area. Whitney Point (in northern Broome County) is also named after him.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Triple Cities College of Syracuse University was accepted into the SUNY system as Harpur College in 1950. It later changed its name to SUNY Binghamton when it became a University Center, and changed its name unoffically to Binghamton University in 1994.
Compiled By Giovanna Zeva, Special Collections Researcher; Edited and Amended By Jennifer Ostrom, Editor in Chief of Frontal Lobe 96-97, & Written by Peter Hubisz, Former Dickinson Resident '93
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