Baruch College Fund Raises $1.7 Million at Annual Bernard Baruch DinnerFirst in-person dinner since 2019 draws nearly 400 guests, shatters fundraising record
May 12, 2022
The Baruch College Fund (BCF) broke its fundraising record at the 2022 Bernard Baruch Dinner, raising more than $1.7 million at the event, which was held at New York City’s Ziegfeld Ballroom place on April 27.
This is the sixth consecutive year that BCF has raised more than $1 million for the Bernard Baruch Dinner.
This year’s fundraising totals included $164,000 from a special appeal, Invest in Us, which was a dollar-for-dollar matching campaign from BCF Trustee Debra Bernstein.
Excellence and Engagement: Hallmarks of the Baruch Experience
At the event, Baruch College President S. David Wu reflected on Baruch’s “longstanding tradition of excellence,” and the College’s engagement with its vast, global alumni network.
In his welcoming remarks, President Wu began by sharing several success stories that emerged from the Covid-related challenges of the last two years – including the completion of several major campus improvements, a graduation rate that is “virtually unprecedented for an urban public college,” and a record enrollment increase.
President Wu then noted: “Success such as this doesn’t occur in a vacuum or happen overnight. It evolves…from engagement with friends like you who invest in our students, our classrooms and career centers, and in our faculty and facilities. With your support, we are able to realize our mission of making excellence accessible to generations of deserving students.”
Two longstanding supporters of the Baruch community were honored at this year’s dinner for their outstanding contributions to the College and its students: Lara Abrash (MBA ’94), recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award; and BCF Trustee Buzzy Geduld, who was this year’s recipient of the Bernard Baruch Award for Business and Civic Leadership.
A Distinguished Alumna
Lara Abrash is currently the chair and CEO of Deloitte & Touche LLP, is responsible for overseeing all aspects of its US Audit & Assurance practice, including execution of the quality, innovation, growth, and talent strategies. She has held multiple leadership roles at the organization throughout her career and has been instrumental in pioneering Deloitte’s leading position to transform the audit profession through technology and innovation.
Her passion for innovation and inclusion—a driving force in her career with Deloitte—stems in part from her time at Baruch, where she obtained her Master of Business degree in 1994. In her remarks, Ms. Abrash observed that “Baruch is a school for many who are the first in their family to go to college…a school that makes so many kids who can’t afford to go anywhere else.”
Abrash also shared a series of words that best describe the typical Baruch student: “You might hear words like grit, scrappy, determined, raw, and honest. When I think about the world today and who we need to lead us in the future, I would pick those attributes over anything else.”
BCF President Helen Mills described Ms. Abrash as “a terrific role model for our students and for students throughout the world.”
Business and Civic Leadership
Buzzy Geduld was introduced to the audience in a prerecorded video featuring interviews with his friends, including billionaire businessman and philanthropist Kenneth Langone and Austin W. Marxe, the entrepreneur and Baruch alumnus whose $30 million gift in 2016 empowered the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs to greatly expand its academic programming and establish a permanent foundation for the school.
Mr. Geduld is a BCF Trustee and recipient of the Bernard Baruch Award for Business and Civic Leadership, has been the CEO of Cougar Capital, LLC, since its inception in 2002. Prior to that, he was Chairman and CEO of Herzog Heine, Geduld, and was with the firm for three decades before its merger with Merrill Lynch.
Geduld, who never finished college, began his career on Wall Street while also partnering with his brother in a group of donut shops called the Donut Pub.
In recorded remarks shared at the event, he drew parallels between his personal history and the background of a typical Baruch student, saying, “40 percent of Baruch students are first generation Americans. I’m a first generation American…Baruch, in a word, is opportunity. Standing here tonight, it is such an honor and such a joy, and I’m so grateful.”
BCF President Mills remarked that “Although he is not a graduate, Buzzy has adopted every Baruch student as his own. We are lucky and we are grateful that he has chosen to devote so much time and energy to our students.”
Support Baruch Students
Contributions to BCF are ongoing and support Baruch’s ability to provide a high-caliber education and open the door to the world for students who might otherwise be denied that opportunity.
Gifts will also help support critical areas of urgent need, including financial aid, emergency grants, technology assistance, career services and faculty support.
Donate to BCF here.
For more info, visit the BCF website.