Presidents' Dinner  

Newman Vertical Campus, Baruch College, New York City

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Dr. Kathleen Waldron
September 28, 2004

I'd like to begin by recognizing the leaders of the College who have joined me this evening. Provost David Dannenbring, Vice President of Finance Rob Specter, Vice President of College Advancement David Gallagher, Dean of the School of Public Affairs Stan Altman, Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences Myrna Chase, and Dean of the Zicklin School of Business John Elliott.

It's wonderful to be here with you in this magnificent building and to be part of the stunning transformation that has taken place at Baruch over the past decade.   Innovative and forward-thinking new faculties, a dramatic rise in national rankings, and the smartest, most diverse and motivated student body we've ever seen all announce Baruch's presence in New York in a very exciting way. As a former Citigroup banker and former dean of a business school in New York,   I can tell you that opinion leaders throughout the metropolitan region have taken notice of Baruch College.

What's most exciting for me, though, is not how far Baruch has come, but how much further it can go. I believe that Baruch is uniquely poised to become the nation's top urban public college. Not just the top business school, but the top urban public college .

More than any other institution Baruch is tied to New York City?the city of commerce, the city of opportunity, the city of philanthropy, the city of culture, the city of everything.

This award-winning building represents one of several recent transformations at Baruch that are re-defining the ?urban college? experience; that have created a sense of community for our diverse, student body; and that have further embedded Baruch in the very fabric of New York City.

To propel Baruch even further, we need to focus our attention and resources on the three critical factors that will continue to drive its transformation: first, an increasingly high-caliber student body; second, an ongoing commitment to academic excellence; and third, the extraordinary leadership and generosity of our alumni.

First, our students. Above all else, we need to have a renewed focus on the student experience at Baruch.   Baruch's students are our greatest pride and our greatest asset.   This fall, we have 15,600 students at the college, and our freshman class is the smartest we've ever enrolled.   The freshmen class this year has average SAT scores of 1107 and they graduated from high school with a B-plus or higher average.   Our students are smart, ambitious, and hard working. They recognize the opportunities Baruch offers them and they seize them.   That's why our commitment to academic excellence has been so vital.

Second, our commitment to academic excellence. Academically, Baruch is thriving. At the heart of Baruch's commitment to academic excellence is its diverse and outstanding faculty. Over the past three years, we hired 80 new professors out of a faculty of 500 people. The faculty   comes to us in all disciplines, from all over the world, selecting Baruch College because of its reputation, its students and its location that will allow them abundant research opportunities and a stimulating intellectual life that is perhaps unique in the world. The entire faculty possesses a remarkable ability to strike that delicate balance between teaching, research and practical application of theory. You only have to read their publications, listen to them on national television, and watch them teach to know how truly special they are.

Our academic excellence receives national recognition. In   rankings released last month by U.S. News and World Report , Baruch was named the 48 th best undergraduate business program in the nation, our part-time MBA program was ranked 14th in the USA and our Master of Public Administration program 52 nd in the country. Our not for profit management program ranked 20 th in the country, our health care policy and urban policy programs are among the top 25. Money magazine recently ranked Baruch among the top twenty nonresidential colleges nationwide. These are ratings that any college in the country would be proud to have.

But excellence goes further than rankings. We have innovative, state-of-the-art buildings and we use technology in ways that are redefining the urban academic landscape. Many of you contributed to our technology efforts and we are grateful. You are in the Newman Vertical Campus, winner of the 2003 American Institute of Architects Award for college buildings. You   are   across the street from the Newman Library, named the best college library in 2003 by the Association of College and Research Libraries. You are near the Tutoring Center that recently received an award from the National College Learning Center Association for innovative technology.  

Third, and finally, I want to talk about our Dedicated Alumni and Friends.

The support of our alumni and donors is the driving force behind this explosion of excellence.   Because of your commitment and generosity, we have raised millions of dollars in support of Baruch's mission and vision for the future.

(Presentation of Bernard Baruch Maquettes)

  One of the most generous and important donations is a gift from Merrill Lynch to sponsor Baruch's entrepreneurship competition, now called the Baruch College and Merrill Lynch IPO Challenge. This partnership with Merrill Lynch has inspired Baruch students to develop successful new companies and to think in innovative ways.   We are fortunate to have a representative from Merrill Lynch with us this evening. Eddy, would you please join me on stage. ( pause) . Eddy Bayardelle is First Vice President of Global Philanthropy for Merrill Lynch. Eddy, I want to thank you and Merrill Lynch for your commitment to Baruch's students.

Accepting the Maquette ? Eddy Bayardelle, First Vice President, Global Philanthropy, Merrill Lynch

Announcement of Historic Gifts and Tribute to Donors
Dr. Kathleen Waldron
Students of Baruch College: Cheryl Ng, Zachary Bolton, Shaunak Tanna

Thank you Eddy. Our alumni continue to be most generous. Tonight, I am proud to announce some amazing gifts that create history.   The Campaign for Baruch, launched in 1996, has surpassed its ultimate fundraising goal of $150 million dollars. During the last few weeks, six extraordinary gifts totalling $54 million dollars have pushed that number to more than $160 million dollars. This marks a truly historic moment for Baruch and CUNY.  

Tonight we honor six of your peers whose commitment to the mission of Baruch has helped lift us above our ambitious goal. To assist me, I'd like to ask Baruch students Cheryl Ng, Zachary Bolton, and Shaunak Tanna to join me on the podium.

Alumnus and Trustee Bill Aldinger ('69), who unfortunately could not be here with us tonight, has made a wonderful new gift to Baruch of $2 million to endow The William F. Aldinger III Chair in Banking and Finance in the Zicklin School of Business. Many of you know Bill well. He was born in Brooklyn and worked nights to put himself through Baruch and later through Brooklyn Law School. He is now Chairman and CEO of HSBC bank of North America. The Aldinger Chair in Banking and Finance represents an enormous contribution to Baruch that will ensure a stellar new faculty hire that would otherwise simply not be possible.

Larry and Carol Zicklin have made another extraordinary gift to Baruch to honor   Larry's late cousin, Robert Zicklin. The Zicklins have been incredible friends and donors to Baruch, and Larry is a dedicated and inspiring mentor to all of our students. He is teaching a class tonight and is not here while his wife Carol is in the hospital recovering from an accident. Our thoughts are with her for a speedy recovery. Larry described his cousin Robert as being "a stickler for ethics and the law." He said, "Bob never cut corners. He always played down the middle, and for me he was the model of integrity." To honor his cousin Robert Zicklin and in acknowledgement of his personal integrity throughout his too short career, Larry and Carol have made a $2 million gift to name The Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity, a center at the College that will sponsor forums for public debate about improving the integrity of corporations. We are honored tonight to have with us Robert's widow, Carole Zicklin, and their two daughters, Adrienne and Diana.

Our next alumnus is Marvin Antonowsky who has made extraordinary contributions to the artistic and cultural life of Baruch. Recently, Marvin endowed a professorship in theater held by Eric Krebs, who has worked tirelessly over the last year to create a vibrant theatrical complex at Baruch. Tonight, it is my privilege to announce that Marvin has made a new gift of $2.5 million dollars that will help ensure the flourishing cultural life of Baruch and New York City. In gratitude we are proud to name the theater complex in this building, The Marvin Antonowsky Performing Arts Complex .   Marvin, would you please join me?

Cheryl Ng, a marketing major and theatre minor, will join me in honoring Marvin Antonowsky. Cheryl is interested in becoming   a director and has stage-managed plays in various locations in the city.     

[ Cheryl READS Marvin Antonowsky citation]

[Marvin Antonowsky remarks. Waldron continues: ]

I'm very pleased to announce another gift tonight from an alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous. The extraordinarily generous gift, in the amount of $10 million, will have enormous college-wide reach. We're deeply grateful for this level of commitment.

I'm not done yet everyone. Larry and Eris Field have been tremendous supporters and wonderful friends of Baruch College. Their creative and entrepreneurial spirits have helped propel Baruch into the top-tiered school it is today. It is my pleasure tonight to announce two new gifts from Larry and Eris Field: a $2 million dollar endowed chair to create the Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship ; and a $10 million gift to support our efforts to strengthen the academic enterprise across the entire college. I'm pleased to announce tonight the renaming of the building on the original site of the Free Academy, Baruch's historic ?17 Lex?, the Eris and Lawrence N. Field Building .

Larry Field, would you please come up. (Larry joins Kathy at the podium).

I would like to introduce Zachary Bolton, a second-year Honors MBA student majoring in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. Before coming to Baruch Zachary spent five years in Siberia working in not-for-profit services.   He is currently a Field Fellow at the Lawrence N. Field Center For Entrepreneurship.

[Zachary reads the citation to Larry Field ]

I'm especially thrilled to announce tonight that Larry has introduced the famous architect Frank Gehry, a long-time friend of his, to Baruch. Thanks to Larry, Mr. Gehry has toured the historic ?17 Lex? building and we hope that his breathtaking vision will play a role in transforming the very first site of public higher education in the United States.  

[Larry Field remarks. Waldron continues: ]

And I am still not done. Tonight we also honor a historic new gift from William and Anita Newman. The Newmans' continued generosity is an unparalleled source of support and inspiration for the college. I am pleased to announce that Bill and Anita have made the largest single gift in the College's history, $25 million dollars. In honor of this extraordinary commitment, the College is proud to name this magnificent, award-winning new building the William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus .  

Bill and Anita, would you please join me on stage?

I'd like to invite Shaunak Tanna, a second-year honors MBA student from Mumbai, India, to honor Mr. Newman. Shaunak is a Chartered Accountant and has worked as an intern with Deloitte & Touch and Dun & Bradstreet. He has also managed his family's real estate development business.

[ Shaunak reads Newman citation.]

[Newman remarks. Waldron continues: ]

Okay. Now I am done ---   unless anyone else would like to make a donation?.

The American Dream Still Works. You, alumni of Baruch College, are living proof of what a Baruch College education can bring.   Through your example and your support, we will continue to build this excellent college. Now, please enjoy your dinner and I will say a few more words right before dessert.

After Dinner Remarks:
Recognition of the Presidents of The Baruch College Fund 2000-2004
Dr. Kathleen Waldron

In 1970, a group of highly successful alumni who recognized the vital role Baruch College played in helping them to realize their own dreams, founded The Baruch College Fund. Since its inception, the Fund has been governed by a dedicated Board of Trustees who   worked hard to ensure that the young people of New York continue to have access to an excellent education and to new opportunities. The Baruch College Fund is the bridge that connects access to excellence to opportunity. It makes up the difference between the College's public funding sources and the actual costs of a first-rate education. It helps attract world-class faculty, who in turn touch the hearts and minds of our students, who in turn support and influence their communities and the world around them. The Baruch College Fund opens doors that would otherwise remain shut to so many.

Three distinguished trustees worked tirelessly at the helm of the Fund during its most successful period and I would like to recognize them tonight. Irwin Engelman, Larry Zicklin, and Dov Schlein have exhibited extraordinary dedication to the principles of philanthropy on behalf of their alma mater. Tonight we honor their generosity of spirit and years of service to the College.

Closing Remarks

Thank you for sharing my first Presidents' Dinner with me. And thank you for your extraordinary support. Get home safely tonight, and please, keep coming back.