Celebrates 50th Anniversary
of the Gift That Provided Its Unique Identity
BARUCH COLLEGE, NEW YORK, NY (4/29/03)—
A student takes a break alongside the statue of Bernard Baruch in the entrance to the Newman Vertical Campus.
Photo by Jerry Speier
Financier Bernard Mannes Baruch, graduate of 1889, gave a gift to City College fifty years ago, explicitly stating that the kind of education that he, from a family of immigrants, had received from the City University, and that students today still receive, is the kind of education that makes the American dream possible for all -- because it honors the intellectual energy and irrepressible dreams of our nation's most dedicated and ambitious young minds.
Nowadays, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Baruch gift, with the College preparing for its first annual Bernard Baruch Dinner on May 7, students still like to sit with Mr. Baruch on his famous park bench -- a sculpted bronze replica inside the doors of the new Newman Vertical Campus.
Visitors will see them there at all hours, early morning to late evening, whenever classes and student activities keep people in this bustling, 14-storey, urban educational complex.
For it is a bench after all, easily big enough for two and, if you're feeling intimate, sufficient for three. One spot is taken -- that would be Mr. Baruch, memorialized in the pose he made famous on a Washington, D.C. park bench during the years he was as likely to offer his civic wisdom to interested passersby as to U.S. presidents, six of whom he formally or informally advised.
The bench, sculpted with a level of a sharp realism by James Agius, was donated to the College in honor of Bernard Baruch and his class of 1889 by Peter ('60) and Gloria Jonas.
Baruch College is the most diverse school in the U.S. -- students or their families come from more than 90 countries and 70 language groups -- so Mr. Baruch often finds himself chatting beside some faces he might not have recognized in his own day. But these students' aspirations for success, their dreams of the good life and prosperous, safe communities in which to pursue their careers and raise their families, are the same as when Bernard Baruch's own parents, recent arrivals, sent him off to City College in the late nineteenth century.
Which means, as far as Mr. Baruch is concerned, there's always a lot to talk about.
Director of Public Relations