SEC Chief William Donaldson Addresses
Baruch Grads at June 1st Commencement
York, NY, Tuesday, June 1, 2004
- Twelve streamer cannons showered thousands of beaming graduates,
their friends and families with 60 pounds of swirling confetti
at the exuberant finale of Baruch College’s 39th Commencement
Ceremonies held today at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
William Donaldson, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, gave the Commencement address. Donaldson called for graduating Baruch students to “embrace education, optimism, and an entrepreneurial mindset.” During the ceremony, a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa was bestowed on Mr. Donaldson.
At the Baruch College graduation some 2,450 undergraduate and 1,170 graduate degrees were bestowed on students who had completed their academic requirements within the past calendar year. More than 11,000 parents, friends and well-wishers joined the happy throng. Ned Regan, Baruch College President since July, 2000, and former Comptroller of the State of New York (1979-1993), presided at the ceremony.
Two other honorary degrees were awarded. David A. Coulter, Vice Chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Executive Chairman of JPMorgan, and Lawrence N. Field ’52, a Los Anegles real estate developer and founder and creator of NSB Associates, Inc., both received honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degrees. Just prior to the conferring of degrees, New York Senator Charles Schumer made a cameo appearance hailing the graduates and The City University of New York.
Eric Green, a 26-year-old international student from London, England, was the Valedictorian. Eric, who compiled a perfect 4.0 average while studying finance and economics, was a self-supporting evening session student. While attending Baruch, he joined Homeclick.com, a high-end home furnishings company, helping to grow the company’s annual revenues to $30 million. Equally entrepreneurial in his personal and academic life, Eric was instrumental in rejuvenating Sigma Alpha Delta, the College’s oldest honor society. In 2003, he launched the Baruch College Computer Fund, a bootstrap operation to help needy Baruch students obtain personal home computers. Eric says his long-term goals include achieving a leadership position in Corporate America and an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School.
The Baruch Salutatorian, Abraham (Avi) Tetro, is also an international student. Born in the Soviet Republic of Georgia in 1979, Avi moved to Israel with his family at age 11. He first came to the United States in 2000 on a basketball scholarship, attending Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky. After transferring to Baruch, he too opted to major in finance and pursue a career in investment banking and wealth management.
The Speaker, William Donaldson, was appointed Chairman of the SEC in February 2004. A distinguished veteran of Wall Street, Donaldson was the “D” in the investment banking firm DLJ. He served as a former member of the Nixon and Ford administrations and was the founder and first dean of the Yale Graduate School of Management and a former head of the New York Stock Exchange. His appointment to the SEC, at a time when Corporate America appeared riddled with corruption scandals, signaled a new effort to protect investors and restore confidence on Wall Street.