Baruch College Hall Of History Debuts in the Information and Technology Building
There’s something new on the Baruch College campus and it’s big and eye-catching. People entering the Information and Technology building on East 25th Street are stopping short to peer at two giant murals on the east and west walls of the atrium. The 20-foot high, 10-feet wide murals are visual depictions of Baruch College’s rich heritage—from the founding of the Free Academy in 1847 to the opening of the Newman Vertical Campus in 2001. They will serve as bookends for a historical installation that will also include two exhibit pillars featuring interesting details and images bridging Baruch College’s past and present. In addition, a plaque on the atrium’s north wall will be devoted to individuals who have made major gifts to the College in the spirit of "giving back." Their generosity and desire to share their success with subsequent generations of Baruch students will be recognized here.
According to President Stan Altman, who led the development of the project, the installation is intended to "connect the Baruch community of today with the Baruch of generations past. Our students, alumni, faculty and staff will benefit from getting better acquainted with our heritage; to treasure the men and women who paved the way for the academic excellence and the rich cultural diversity we enjoy today. But it’s also about looking forward and reminding our community of the College’s critical mission and role in preparing tomorrow’s leaders."
The historical installation is being designed and mounted by Hixon Design from materials assembled by Professor Sandra Roff, archivist in the Newman Library. The mural on the west wall is blue-tinted and features an image of the original 1847 building that stood on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 23rd Street. A timeline marks key dates in the evolution of Baruch College, from its beginnings as The Free Academy to today’s vibrant campus. The timeline also shows how the history of the College is intertwined with the history New York City. The orange-tinted mural on the east side of the atrium shows the Newman Vertical Campus with an overlay of the words, "Access, Opportunity, Excellence." The murals are constructed of a fire-retardant polyester knit fabric over an aluminum frame. Digital technology was used to transfer the images of the two buildings onto the fabric.
The two exhibition pillars that will be installed later this spring are still in the design and development stage. One will be devoted to Bernard Baruch, the financier, philanthropist and statesman for whom the College is named. The other will commemorate men and women who made important contributions to the College’s advancement and reputation. Sandra Roff, who curated CUNY’s 150th anniversary exhibit a few years ago, expressed pleasure that the hall of history is now in progress. "As an archivist and long-time faculty member, I am delighted that we are resurrecting our past and highlighting Baruch’s role in the history of New York and the nation," she said.