Bernard M. Baruch College is a large business-focused public university located in the Flatiron district of Manhattan, and is part of the 17-college City University of New York (CUNY) system. The Trustees of City College established the School of Business and Civic Administration in 1919, an institution that was completely free for students. In the 1930’s, the college allowed women to enroll in its business program. The name was changed to Bernard M. Baruch School of Business and Public Administration in 1953 to honor Bernard Baruch, the former trustee of City College and an economic adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Baruch became a part of the CUNY system in 1968. It is currently one of the most diverse colleges in the nation, representing 120 countries and 110 languages, and accommodates over 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The institution is particularly famous for its Zicklin School of Business, the largest higher education school of business in the U.S. The college also houses the smaller Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and School of Public Affairs. Although over 75% of undergraduates major in business-related fields, everyone has to take a two-year liberal arts common core curriculum.
Baruch is located in the heart of the Gramercy/Flatiron district, a bustling area of Manhattan. The college has two main academic buildings – the older 23rd Street building which houses the science department and some introductory freshman courses, and the impressive, ultra-modern Newman Vertical Campus (VC) built in 2001. Students take 90% of their classes in this 17-story structure, which is reminiscent of a cruise ship. Across the street from the VC is the renovated Newman Library and administration building, boasting the largest library facility in the entire CUNY system, with private study rooms and plush couches.
Baruch has no dorms and instead of a major dining hall, the college has a small cafeteria with two seating areas in the VC and the Newman Library building. During breaks, most students can be found in the two areas surrounding the VC, sitting on concrete benches or in the mini-student lounges.
The best hangout for any Baruch student is during club hours every Tuesday and Thursday between 12:40PM to 2:20PM is the third floor. Students are free to meet up in their clubs or organizations or attend academic events and corporate seminars. Most activity occurs at the 2nd floor lobby and offices as well as the third floor club, sorority and fraternity rooms.
Student lounges are also popular hangout areas. There are several of these lounges throughout the building on every floor, but they fill up quickly. There are also some stand-up computer consoles equipped with internet access, for productivity on-the-go. The busiest lounge is outside the 25th Street exit of the vertical campus, especially during spring when the weather is warm.
Students jam-pack the second floor lobby all day, every day. During peak hours, students struggle getting past the crowd and it’s a challenge to get in the elevators. There are tables set up daily to recruit students to organizations and become involved in everything school-related.
Contrary to popular belief, a library is a splendid place to hang out. With a cafeteria, four floors of study space and a computer lab, students make the most out of their time in the Newman Library.
The college’s sports complex is among one of the more popular hangout spots at Baruch, especially for sports and fitness junkies. The lower levels of Baruch house two gyms, a swimming pool, and a weight/ fitness room.
Baruch College may not have a vast campus, but it is located at the heart of the Flatiron/Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan. It is easily accessible from the 6 train stop at 23rd Street. This busy area is home to numerous small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, as well as very diverse restaurants and 24/hour transportation. One can find three bars that are always crowded with students, fast-food places, and small sushi and Mexican food joints within a three block radius of the school. A short walk away is the “Indian District,” full of authentic Indian eateries and fabric shops.
The major shopping centers of Union Square an 34th Street are about a 15-minute walk away. Times Square is also close by.
There are plenty of places to hang out between classes or de-stress during exam season:
Of-age Baruchians treat Rodeo Bar as their second home. There’s free live music, such as country and bluegrass, that plays nightly along with karaoke on Fridays. With a great selection of margaritas, what more can you ask for?
Madison Square Park is located at the heart of the Gramercy/Flatiron District. The park is easily navigable, and includes a burger shack that is packed by noontime. Events, from book readings to green meetings, as well as concerts are held year-round, especially during spring and summer. One of the icons of the magnificent park is the statue of Admiral David Farragut, the first senior officer of the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War. There’s also a fountain located in the middle where people sit and eat lunch when the water is off.
Where would college students be without a sufficient dose of coffee? The newly opened Grammercy Star Café is smack dab in the middle of the 17th Lexington building and the Vertical Campus, which almost every single student walks by at some point during the day. Whether it’s to grab a quick bite or coffee, Grammercy Café is a necessary pit-stop in a student’s day.
Another popular location for Baruch students to spend their free time is Vertigo. This bar has a sleek and modern theme, with a DJ continuously spinning tunes for its customers, who are well taken care of.
The Great Saloon is another fabulous hangout for students. This restaurant/bar has offered fine food and dining since 1880. With a great menu and group hosting events, the place is never quiet!
Baruch isn't a school where traditions run deep, but a few events bring the campus together each year.
The Fashion Club is one of the most popular clubs on campus, and hosts an annual fashion show that a large number of students attend.
– Every year in the middle of may, the street between the VC and Newman Library is closed down for the massive Spring Fling Street Fair that lasts all day. Present are mini-rides, attractions, competitions and, of course, food. This is perhaps the only mass group activity that Baruch students participate in.
William F. Aldinger (1969) is the CEO of Capmark Financial Group, Inc.
Bernard M. Baruch (1889) was the businessman whom the college was named for.
William Newman (1947) was the Founder and chairman of New Plan Excel Realty Trust, Inc.
JoAnn F. Ryan (1979) is the senior VP for Con Edison’s Business Shared Services
Lawrence Zicklin (1957) was the Chairman of Neuberger Berman, a subsdiary of Lehnam Brothers
Baruch students seldom attend the Division III Bearcat games, something the college is trying to change in order to promote school pride.
The most popular teams are men’s basketball and swimming, the college doesn’t have a football team, and students practice for games off-campus, as Baruch only has a basketball court and a swimming pool. Although sports aren’t very popular here, basketball games between arch rivals Hunter College and CUNY Queens College are the most-attended of the year.
Baruch college was free to all students when it was founded in 1919.
Jennifer Lopez attended Baruch for one semester before dropping out.
The Newman Library was the location for the shooting of Sopranos episode “University” in 2000.
Baruch College rented one of its buildings for a location shooting for the movie The Devil’s Own (1997)starring Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt.
The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences offers an ad hoc major, combining two areas of study under the guidance of a faculty adviser.
Baruch doesn’t have dorms and is a commuter school. Some say the exception is finals week, when the library is open 24 hours and students sleep over on the plush couches, bringing blankets, toiletries and a change of clothes.