Baruch community celebrates donors with ‘Paws and Give Thanks Day’ event

Maya Demchak-Gottlieb, Editor-In-Chief

“Paws and Give Thanks Day” united Baruch College students on April 20 in the William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus, where they wrote letters, recorded videos and snapped photos as an expression of their gratitude for donor support. Baruch raised over $12 million from over 4,000 donors between 2021 and 2022. Donor support funded scholarships, faculty, study abroad opportunities, the Starr Career Development Center and spaces like the William and Anita Newman Library, Aaronson Student Center and Clivner=Field Plaza.

“I think [Paws and Give Thanks Day] is a good activity to let the students know that we have donors here,” Sadia Sultana, a sophomore, said. “I think it will encourage us to add activities. It will also let the donors know that we the students are interested, know about it and appreciate it.”

Yuriy Bystro, a first-year graduate student at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, also participated in the event.

He was awarded a donor scholarship that paid for his first semester at Baruch.

He said the support from his donor has also helped him participate in enriching events.

“My life and the studies here also enabled me to do different interesting activities,” he said. “For example, I have participated in an international foreign affairs conference at the US Naval Academy just a week ago, and it’s also thanks to the scholarship. I am also now considered to work for New York City Emergency Management.”

Bystro is from Ukraine and said he hopes to use the opportunities at Baruch to prepare for returning home after graduation.

“I am hoping to gather knowledge as well as experience here in New York and will hopefully in the future participate in rebuilding postwar Ukraine,” he said.

For Bystro, it’s difficult emotionally to attend school while the war in Ukraine continues.

But he reminds himself how important the opportunities he has are.

“I try to keep cool and try to get the most of my knowledge here because it’s the most I can do,” he said. “Some people of my age are actually fighting there so if I am not fighting there, I need to do my job here. That is why I’m trying to concentrate on studies and related activities.”

Jason Galak, a senior, said he was grateful for the school-wide services and structures created by donor support, as well as the effect of donor support on individual students.

“We can only get so much funding from the state, so on top of our state and on top of our tuition, we also rely on our donors because with the money that donors give us, we’re able to create scholarships, we’re able to create really cool events and initiatives like the food pantry and also the Aaronson Student Center,” he said.

Galak received the Henry Wollman prize for outstanding contributions to student life. He was awarded for his work in USG.

Bystro said events like “Paws and Give Thanks Day” are essential because donors need to see the impact of their different contributions.

“Donors need to know that they’re helping people in their lives — opening doors and saving people,” he said.