Baruch News Flash - Baruch College

The July 1 edition of the Wall Street Journal features Amy Hagedorn, a 1958 Baruch alumna, as “Donor of the Day.” Amy just renewed her $1 million pledge to support the Hagedorn Internships, Scholarships and Fellowships programs in the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College. Amy is the third member of the Baruch alumni to be featured by the Wall Street Journal as a “Donor of the Day.” In 2012, Nadja Fidelia (’02) was recognized for her contributions to student aid, and in 2013 Larry Field (’52) was featured for his continued contributions to Baruch.

Wall Street Journal Logo

Seeds Are Planted at Baruch
Amy Hagedorn Gives $1 Million to
Baruch's School of Public Affairs

By MELANIE GRAYCE WEST – Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2014

Photo of Amy HegedornTo Amy Hagedorn, not much has changed over the years about the kinds of students who attend New York's Baruch College. They still tend to be the "hardworking and earnest" types, she said—like those she graduated with in 1958.

But unlike then, they face much more daunting costs. For Ms. Hagedorn, tuition was free and she paid a small student fee. She bought used books, packed a bag lunch every day and managed on a shoestring budget, she said.

Today's students "deserve a break," she said. "Many of them are struggling with a full-time job and family responsibilities."

To that end, Ms. Hagedorn is giving $1 million to support Baruch's School of Public Affairs. The gift will go toward general support and to scholarships, paid internships and fellowships. Part of the gift is a challenge to the college to grow its scholarship endowment.

Baruch, part of the City University of New York, has about 17,500 students, 64% of whom attend full-time. Some 164 nationalities are represented in the student population. The most popular majors are business-related.

Internships are a particular focus for Ms. Hagedorn. Hagedorn-sponsored interns work at social-service organizations and major cultural institutions around New York—serving as an enhancement to classroom education, she said, and opening up career possibilities.

"When I was a student, you could either go into business or become a teacher. I didn't know about the sector of social welfare," she said.

Ms. Hagedorn, 77 years old, was born in Queens. Now retired, she taught prekindergarten classes for more than two decades. She currently leads the Long Island-based Hagedorn Foundation, which grew out of the assets of her late husband, Horace Hagedorn. The Hagedorns were married for nearly 20 years, until his death in 2005 at the age of 89. It was a second marriage for both.

Mr. Hagedorn was the founder of plant-food maker Miracle-Gro Co. and oversaw its merger with the lawn-care company Scotts. He was a noted philanthropist in Long Island and elsewhere, with interests in the environment, education, economic development, immigration, social equality and children's programs.

Ms. Hagedorn said she met Mr. Hagedorn through a lonely hearts newspaper advertisement. Her ad said she liked to read seed catalogs, listen to reggae and had dreams of sailing. (Mr. Hagedorn was an avid sailor.)

"Where is the kindhearted man with a cool head and a gracious manner who will share all my seasons?" the ad read, according to Ms. Hagedorn.

The pitch worked, she said. Mr. Hagedorn responded to the listing and they were married after about a year of dating.

"I guess I could give credit to Baruch for my advertising prowess," she joked.

NOTE: A version of this article appeared July 1, 2014 on page A16 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Seeds Are Planted at Baruch.