A Ticker Romance

Some Baruchians wound up with more than a byline and fond memories of production snafus. Meet two soul mates who met while working on The Ticker.

Sam Perelson ('56) and Ruth Cohen ('58) Perelson

"She's cute. You should ask her out," said Mrs. Perelson to her son, Ticker Editor in Chief Sam ('56). Mrs. Perelson was speaking of Ruth Cohen ('58), one of the young women hosting a first-ever reception for the parents of students working on the student newspaper. (The reception was Sam's idea to acquaint parents with the College and its student newspaper offices, the place where their children spent many late hours working and socializing.) Sam was in total agreement with his mother's assessment but had to explain that Ruth was “taken.” She was dating a boy attending the NYU School of Dentistry. His mom's response: “Keep trying.” Mrs. Perelson was on to something: her son and Ruth will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this December.

A Ticker Romance

Shown Here: The Perelsons were honored by their alma mater with the Annie and Bernard M. Baruch Couples Award at the 2006 Alumni Reunion brunch on Oct. 15.

Photo by Jerry Speier

To tell the story of her Ticker romance, Ruth has to go back to her first day on campus at 17 Lex. She filed in to the auditorium with her best friend, Thelma Rosenblum ('58), for freshman orientation. That day freshmen were assigned a Big Brother or Big Sister. Hers and Thelma's was upperclassman and Tickerite Steve Mann ('57), famous for his column "Mann Overboard." After the presentation, Mann gave his charges a tour of the school that began with The Ticker's ninth-floor offices. He told them all that "everyone has to work on The Ticker." Ruth and Thelma were sold; Ruth became a news writer and Thelma a features writer.

Wide-eyed Ruth noticed something else during her visit to the newspaper's editorial offices. Sitting on a desk, "looking very Joe College, with a shirt and a tie and a pipe in hand, very dashing," says Ruth, was the big man on campus, Ticker Editor in Chief Sam Perelson. Sam and all the other Ticker men were sure to take notice of the freshman girls. The ratio of men to women in those years was a "wonderful" (according to Ruth) 7:1.

News reporter Ruth jumped right in. Although she had never written a newspaper article before, her first effort identified her as a natural. It was printed on page one, and she got a byline (the result of news editor Fred Harrison's lobbying; Sam didn't approve, she notes wryly today).

That fateful parents' reception was held in November 1954. The two began dating after New Year's. They were engaged in June 1956 and married in December 1957. But Ruth wants us to know that her head was filled with much more than romance during her Baruch and Ticker years. During her junior year, she was "big woman on campus," as the Ticker's editor in chief. In her senior year, the year she married Sam, Ruth won the All-American Award for College Journalism.

Ruth describes her family as "two fabulous daughters, two super sons-in-law, and five all-of-the-above-plus-brilliant grandchildren."