Flagship Technology Lab at Baruch College Opens with Fanfare

Baruch College President, and City Government and CUNY Officials Preside Over Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Marking First Renovation of Center Since Opening in 1994


 L to R: Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, CUNY Vice Chancellor Judith Bergtraum, Lawrence Kaplan, Laurie Kaplan, Borough President Gale Brewer, Douglas Kaplan, Council Members Rosie Mendez and James Vacca


NEW YORK, NY- October 20, 2017– To celebrate the grand opening of a flagship technology lab that will serve thousands of students, Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Rosie Mendez, and City Council Member James Vacca presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 13, 2017.

The renovated lab, named the Martin E (’59) and Laurie Kaplan Computing and Technology Center, is equipped to keep pace with ever-shifting and emerging technologies, giving students the vital tools to compete globally in their chosen fields. Occupying more than 11,000 square-feet with views of the Empire State Building, the lab is named in honor of Laura Kaplan and her late husband, alumnus Martin Kaplan, generous benefactors to the College. Mrs. Kaplan participated in the ceremony along with members of their family.

Also part of the ribbon-cutting were Judith Bergtraum, vice chancellor for facilities planning, construction and management at The City University of New York (CUNY), and Isabel Arias, president of Baruch College’s Undergraduate Student Government.

City, State, and Donor Support Made Lab Possible

In his opening remarks, College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD., expressed appreciation for the generous financial support of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (MPA ’95), Borough President Gale Brewer, and Council Members Rosie Mendez and James Vacca, which made upgrades to the lab possible.

Dr. Wallerstein added, “I want to thank and acknowledge a number of special guests, starting with Laurie Kaplan and her family. She and her late husband, Martin Kaplan, who was a member of the class of 1959, have been generous benefactors of the Baruch College.” President Wallerstein then voiced appreciation to the Office of Vice Chancellor Judith Bergtraum, which handles CUNY’s Facilities Planning, Construction and Management, for managing the renovation of the space.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the first renovation of the space since it opened to students in 1994. More than $2.5 million in state and city capital funds supported the lab’s major upgrades, and the student technology fee financed the purchase of all the new equipment.

Designed as a one-stop, state-of-the-art technology resource for Baruch College’s existing and growing student population, the approximate 400-seat lab features a wide range of upgrades from 4k monitors to a help desk modeled after the Apple Genius Bar to collaborative, flexible work spaces. It was designed with full attention to accessibility for users with disabilities

Congratulations from Public Officials

During the ceremony, Borough President Gale Brewer said “The public’s money couldn’t go for a better cause. Congratulation to Baruch College on this amazing lab.”

Council Member Rosie Mendez added, “It has been an incredible 12 years representing Council District 2, but also representing Baruch College, an incredible institution that reaches beyond my district, throughout the entire city. With the support of my colleagues Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilmember Jimmy Vacca, I am excited to be a part of the opening of the Martin E. (’59) and Laurie Kaplan Computing and Technology Center.”

“I’m elated to celebrate the completion of six multimedia rooms at Baruch College,” said Council Member James Vacca. “These rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. I allocated $150,000 towards renovating the space, with the goal of creating a dynamic learning environment, where students can come together to collaborate on projects and coursework.”

Although unable to attend the event, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito sent along her best wishes.  “Baruch College is an integral component of our city’s education system, having shaped the lives of millions of New Yorkers. As a proud Baruch alum, it has been remarkable to witness Baruch’s growth over the years and I am excited to see Baruch College grow with the Martin E. (’59) and Laurie Kaplan Computing and Technology Center. As Council Speaker, it is with great pride that funds allocated by the New York City Council were able to make this center a reality.”

 Renovated Lab Center: Latest Addition to Major Campus Improvements

 The Martin E (’59) and Laurie Kaplan Computing and Technology Center is the latest in campus improvements that have been underway at Baruch College during the last few years.

In September 2016, an upgraded Subotnick Financial Services Center/Wasserman Trading Floor opened, providing experiential learning opportunities for students studying economics, finance, journalism, and technology.

In 2012, the College’s campus gained a transformative outdoor space by opening the 25th Street Interim Pedestrian Plaza. Now known as the Clivner Field Plaza, the car-free block is under construction for a redesign that will create a permanent public space,

Additionally, Baruch College is moving ahead with the Allen G. and Mary E. Aaronson Student Center, which will be located in a currently unused portion of the Madison Square Station Post Office.

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Media Contact:  Suzanne Bronski:  646-660-6095 / Suzanne.bronski@baruch.cuny.edu