In the grand scheme of things, college may only take up only a few years of a student’s life. But if they’re good enough, the memories made in that time will last much longer than that. From intimate moments with suitemates to lively nights in Downtown Binghamton, these Binghamton University alumni shared their favorite experiences from their years as Bearcats.
Cynthia Dioquino, ‘05
Cynthia Dioquino recalled that her favorite college memories involved nights out in Downtown Binghamton with her friends.
“We had rented a house on Oak Street so our house was the default pregame congregation point for our friends,” Dioquino said.
Dioquino said she remembered going out drinking with her friends and specifically downing “scorpion bowls” at The Rathskeller. The local bar derives its name from the German word “ratskeller,” which refers to a bar in the basement of a city hall. Today, “The Rat” as it’s often called by Binghamton residents, remains a student favorite for social hangouts and drunken excursions. Some things, it seems, never change.
Supattra Samanyaphon, ‘08
Many BU alumni made their best memories with close friends and suitemates. Supattra Samanyaphon found she didn’t meet the people that made her time at the University memorable until she transferred to a new community.
“Fortunately, it wasn’t because I didn’t get along with my roommate, which we did,” Samanyaphon said. “I just couldn’t stand the vibe [where I was].”
It wasn’t easy transferring to the popular Hinman College. According to Samanyaphon, she connected with her potential roommate over AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).
“Lucky me, my friends heard of a vacancy in a suite right across the hall from them,” Samanyaphon said.
It was while chatting online that Samanyaphon noticed something which made her feel an instant connection to her potential roommate. Users on AIM could select from a vast number of icons, yet the two had coincidentally chosen the same one. It was through this move that Samanyaphon says she finally found her “Bing fam.”
“My Hinman roommate and I stayed close through our time at [BU] and have been ever since, ‘’ Samanyaphon said.
Samanyaphon’s roommate even went on to become a bridesmaid at her wedding to a husband who also happens to be a BU alumnus.
“As for the Bing fam, even after 17 years [and] even though we may not see each other or talk as often, we’re still family,” Samanyaphon said.
Shari Waldbaum Feinberg, ‘87
Shari Waldbaum Feinburg said her best memories occurred near the end of her time at BU, at a time she needed it most.
“I spent my junior year abroad studying at the London School of Economics [and Political Science] and had a very hard time adjusting,” Feinberg said.
Luckily, she was able to live in an off-campus house with three friends — Pam Koblentz Shlissel, ‘87, Cindy Kanter Sonnabend, ‘87 and Leslie Lucania Winograd, ‘87. Their home on Davis Avenue quickly became a source of many happy times for the group, including memories of cooking — mostly frozen spinach souffles — watching television and hosting friends.
“We have one photo that was taken of the four of us that I gave each of them as a graduation gift,” Feinberg said. “I know that this photo has graced a number of places as we have all moved over the years.”
Time and distance resulted in the group losing touch for a few years, all of them living in different places and raising families of their own. However, Feinberg says they have developed a special tradition that has helped them maintain their closeness in spite of these obstacles. Once a year, the women reunite for a weekend of nostalgia and friendship at the Jersey Shore. Although the tradition was briefly halted because of the pandemic, Feinberg said that they plan to resume their weekend getaways this fall.
Kimberly Go, ‘15
Kimberly Go is another BU alumna that has a hard time narrowing down her best times at BU to just one memory.
“I’ve had so many wonderful memories during my time at [BU] that it is difficult to pick one specific moment,” Go said.
Most of them, however, are about the friends she made living on campus at the Old Dickinson Community. Go graduated from BU twice, first in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in integrated neuroscience and then again in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. For much of her time at BU, she called the Old Dickinson Community her home. However, at the time it wasn’t quite the same place students know it to be today.
“I was one of the last [BU] students who actually lived in the Whitney Building at what is now considered Old Dickinson [Community],” Go said. “I lived there during my first two years and made many friends in my hallway that I still keep in touch with to this day.”
Go and her friends often traveled back and forth between Whitney and its sister building, Champlain.
“The dorms were corridor style and there were only three floors, so it felt like a close-knit community,” Go said.
As a result, residents of the two buildings would regularly spend time mingling and talking, as well as accompanying each other to grab meals from the nearby Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4).
“We celebrated birthdays, cooked holiday dinners, played Super Smash Brothers and even did a hot sauce challenge in the common area,” Go said. “Our gatherings always became unintentionally large as many of us would just be passing by to hang out for a bit. At some point, we even had a Nerf war.”
As a result of the close friends and fond memories they shared during her time at BU, Go said it was especially difficult to say goodbye when she graduated.
“During the last week before graduation, we all had one last big celebration in one of the Susquehanna [Community] apartments,” Go said.
The gathering amassed 15 to 20 students, who eventually congregated in the Nature Preserve to sit in the woods and reminisce. The group talked about everything from “our inside jokes to what our future plans were.”
“Although it was a bittersweet memory because it marked the end of a chapter in my life,” Go said. “It was also one of my favorite memories because I realized how much of a positive experience that I had while attending [BU].”