Twin Ceremonies on May 30th Confer 3,728 Degrees
Rossana Rosado, publisher of El Diario/La Prensa, New York’s largest Spanish-language newspaper, and William Macaulay, the philanthropist and investment manager who donated $30 million in support of City University’s Honors College (since renamed the Macaulay Honors College), delivered keynote addresses at Baruch College’s 42nd Commencement Exercises, held today at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Both Rosado and Macaulay were awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa.
This year’s Commencement was a two-part affair, with Rosado addressing graduates at the 11 am morning ceremony, and Macaulay speaking at the 3 pm afternoon event. A total of 3,728 students were awarded degrees; 2,625 were bestowed on undergraduates and 1,103 earned graduate degrees. Kathleen Waldron, president of Baruch College, presided at both ceremonies.
The 2007 graduates mirrored the amazing diversity of the Baruch College student population, including graduates born in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and all destinations alphabetically in between. The youngest graduates were two 20-year-old business students, and the oldest, Billy Burns, a psychology major from Co-op City in the Bronx, was 65. Students born in Colombia, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, and China sat alongside natives of Brooklyn and the Bronx, listening to speakers who urged them to follow their own star, embark on their post-college lives with courage and idealism, and cherish memories of their alma mater.
Rossana Rosado told graduates to turn obstacles into opportunities and to “ignore the nay-sayers, even when they are within your own family.” The publisher and CEO of El-Diario/La Prensa since 1999, Ms. Rosado is one of the highest-profile Hispanic women in New York. Prior to her current position, Rosado served as editor-in-chief of the paper. During her career as both a TV and print journalist, she won the Emmy and Peabody Awards. In her speech, Rosado noted that she was, like a great many Baruch students, the first in her extended family to attend college.
William Macaulay (’66 ), addressed graduates at the afternoon Commencement. “You, as a group, have worked harder than other graduates to get where you are,” Macaulay told his subway-commuter audience. He went on to urge them to “donate some money, it does not have to be huge,” to their alma mater and to savor and remember their graduation day–even if they forget every word the speakers say.
Chairman and CEO of First Reserve, Macaulay has been with the firm since its founding in 1983. Specializing exclusively in the energy industry, First Reserve is one of the ten largest private equity firms in the world. A member of the CUNY Business Leadership Council, Macaulay was an honors graduate of CCNY Downtown, which became Baruch College. His $30-million gift to CUNY, announced last year, was the largest in the history of The City University of New York.
The Valedictorian for the Class of 2007 was Matthew Furleiter, 22, a native Brooklynite and an accountancy major. Furleiter graduated summa cum laude, earning a BBA degree in accountancy and compiling a 3.99 average. He addressed his classmates at the morning ceremony, advising them to “let your individual, unique background inform decision-making in your career and in your life.”
Yunna Gleyzer, who emigrated to the U.S. from her native Russia at the age of 12, was the Salutatorian. A finance major, Ms. Gleyzer, also 22, is a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School. She will work in the Sales, Trading and Securitization division of Merrill Lynch following her graduation. Speaking at the afternoon Commencement, Ms. Gleyzer urged her fellow graduates to remember their college years as a time of “self-discovery, friendship and new connections.”
Approximately 25 members of the 50th Anniversary Class of 1957 marched in the morning’s opening procession and were recognized during the ceremony. They received an ovation from the graduating class. Among them was Larry Zicklin current President of The Baruch College Fund, for whom Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business is named.
A senior college within The City University of New York, Baruch has an enrollment of approximately 15,500 students in three schools: the Zicklin School of Business, the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Public Affairs. A thriving, urban, multicultural institution, Baruch has been repeatedly cited as the most diverse college in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Baruch, which became an autonomous four-year institution in 1968, traces its origins back to the City College School of Business and Civic Administration, and, ultimately, to the Free Academy, established in New York City in 1847 as the first free public institution of higher education in the nation.
Contact: Zane Berzins, News Director, Baruch College, (646) 660-6113.