Baruch College and The Starr Foundation Announce Advanced Career Professional Preparation for Baruch Undergraduates

Most Ethnically Diverse Student Body in America to Learn the “Unofficial Rules of Business”

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New York, NY—August 21, 2006 -- Baruch College today announced that it has received the largest foundation gift in Baruch’s history from The Starr Foundation to provide undergraduates with advanced professional development preparation from freshman to senior year.  The Starr Foundation is providing an initial gift of $2 million with matching funds of up to $3 million over the next three years for Baruch to develop a national model for the professional development of undergraduates

Baruch, whose student body has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the most diverse student body in America for the past eight consecutive years, has often played a transformative role in the professional trajectory of its students who commute to school each day (rather than live in dorms), often work full or part-time, and in some cases support families.  More than 90% of Baruch’s undergraduate students are drawn from New York City’s high schools, while over 60% come from families with a household income of less than $40,000 annually. Nearly 80% of Baruch’s freshmen have parents who were not born in the U.S.

This donation will initiate The Starr Career Development Center at Baruch College, and will expand and develop new initiatives to align traditional career services with networking, mentoring, internships, leadership, and motivation. However, the grant will also be used to implement a new program to help students better prepare for the workplace by teaching the “unofficial” rules of business, such as the importance of communication, dining etiquette, and other life skills. Students will simultaneously fulfill their academic requirements and complete career preparation modules.

“The objective of the Starr Career Development Center is to successfully prime students for job placement, post-graduate education, and career advancement upon their graduation from Baruch,” said Baruch President Kathleen Waldron. “Many of our 12,800 undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college. As the public institution with the largest accredited business school, we focus on helping our students become self-assured and polished professionals with unlimited opportunities. The Starr Career Development Center at Baruch College will allow us to deliver more expansive services that will enhance the professional lives of our students and will be fully integrated with our excellent curriculum.” 

“The Starr Foundation has always supported students who are the first in their family to attend college,” said The Starr Foundation President Florence Davis.  “Often their families are new to America and the students lack exposure to the diversity of careers they can consider with a Baruch education.  Baruch has developed a comprehensive plan that goes beyond the classroom to help students prepare for successful careers.”

M.R. Greenberg, Chairman of The Starr Foundation, noted that “Mr. Starr used to pay student scholarships out of his own pocket.  Now we have endowed scholarships at more than 130 schools, including Baruch, and we support career-oriented programs at a number of those schools.”

Dr. Ben Corpus, Vice President for Student Affairs at Baruch, added, “Baruch will prepare its graduates to compete at the premier levels of corporate, professional and civic professions.”

The Starr Foundation has a strong history with Baruch, with donations totaling in excess of $5.6 million over the past eight years. The relationship started in 1998 with a gift to the International Internship Program Fund at Baruch’s Weissman Center for International Business within the Zicklin School of Business. The major giving area has been the C.V. Starr Scholarship Fund, an endowment that generates scholarships for study abroad for Baruch undergraduates. The Foundation also has donated to the Global Student Initiative.
                                                                                   

 About Baruch College

Baruch College has an over 150-year history of excellence in public higher education with an emphasis on business. It is an award-winning, diverse institution and a senior college in The City University of New York system, the nation’s leading urban public university system. Baruch draws bright and ambitious students who are serious about preparing themselves to succeed.

Baruch offers undergraduate and graduate programs of study through its three schools: the Zicklin School of Business, the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Public Affairs. The College also offers non-degree and certificate programs through its division of Continuing and Professional Studies.

About The Starr Foundation

The Starr Foundation was established in 1955 by Cornelius Vander Starr, founder of American International Group, Inc.  Mr. Starr, a pioneer of globalization, set up his first insurance venture in Shanghai in 1919.  He died in 1968 at the age of 76, leaving his estate to the Foundation.

Today the Starr Foundation has assets of approximately $3 billion and is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.  In keeping with Mr. Starr's wishes the Foundation supports education, cultural institutions, medicine and healthcare, human needs, public policy, and the environment. In the 50 years since its establishment, the Foundation has given more than $1 billion to non-profit organizations in New York City.

 Contact: Carol Abrams, Chief Communications Officer, (646) 660-6105, carol_abrams@baruch.cuny.edu, or Lara Moon, Communications & Marketing,  (646) 660-6093, lara_moon@baruch.cuny.edu