BU confirms President Obama will visit university

By Matt Porter

August 21, 2013 Updated Aug 22, 2013 at 12:59 AM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) President Barack Obama will stop at the Binghamton University campus during his local visit Friday, Aug. 23.

The president is making an upstate tour that includes Binghamton, Buffalo and Syracuse, and a stop in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Binghamton University President Dr. Harvey Stenger said it will be a town hall style event, but does not know if it will be open to the public or invite only.

Stenger also said the university does not know if the event will be on campus or at the downtown center.

He said Binghamton University is ranked nationally as a top ten university for affordability, and is glad to see the president recognize it.

"I think we have a great story to tell," Stenger said. "We're one of the highest values ranked universities in the nation."

Binghamton University was rumored to be a stop from local political leaders and also because of the presidents topic on student loans and an affordable college education for middle class families.

"It's an incredible honor," Stenger said. "We're going to be on the front page of a lot of places and we'll be the lead news story in a lot of places. And we hope everything goes very smoothly and our campus is friendly and receptive to him."

The White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters earlier this week the president's focus would be on highlighting opportunities and policies to make college more affordable.

"We saw there was some cooperation between Democrats and Republicans in Congress to reduce student loan interest rates that had doubled on the first of July," Earnest said.

Local politicians have begun receiving invites including Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton Rep. Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell and Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.

All say they will attend.