Baruch mourns the loss of two students and one alumnus

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

The Baruch College community mourns the losses of three of its own: Lawrence Field, the namesake of the 17 Lex Building; veteran Dmitriy Pinchuk; and current student Justin Park. They will not only be missed just by their friends and families, but by the entire Baruch community and CUNY family.

Editor’s Note: The Baruch Counseling Center offers their support and assistance in this time of grief. Students who feel they need help or someone to talk to can reach out to the counseling center at 646-312-2155.


Lawrence Field

Lawrence Neil Field graduated from Baruch College in 1952, back when it was still known as City College’s Downtown Campus, with a degree in business.

Born on Oct. 21, 1930 in the Bronx to Hungarian immigrants who owned a grocery store, Field became the epitome of the rags-to-riches, socially mobile student that CUNY aims to put out in the world.

He would eventually become one of Baruch’s biggest and most involved donors.

After graduating Baruch, Field went on to enlist in the U.S. Army, then worked for the Lever Brothers, where he helped create the Dove soap brand. Field then went on to earn a business law degree from New York Law School while also working in real estate.

Afterwards, he worked for the Tisch and Helmsley firms, before creating his own business, called NSB Associates. NSB stood for, “Not so bad,” which was Field’s response whenever he was asked how things were going.

Field married his wife Eris in 1959 and they were together until her death in 2009.

Field died on Jan. 28 at the age of 89. He leaves behind two daughters, Lisa and Robyn, and a partner of 10 years, Rivka Seiden.

Field’s name is easily recognizable due to the large impact his donations have had on the school.

His name graces the 17 Lex building — officially titled the Lawrence and Eris Field Building. He provided the funding for the currently-under-construction Clivner Field Plaza, endowed the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship and established the Larry and Eris Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Lawrence N. Field Professorship in Entrepreneurship.

Field served as a trustee on the board of the Baruch College Fund since 1999 and earned a doctoral degree in 2004 and the Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2008 Bernard Baruch Dinner.

In response to his passing, Baruch President Mitchel B. Wallerstein sent out an email blast commemorating Field.

“His was the classic Baruch social mobility narrative. Larry’s parents, Hungarian immigrants who owned a grocery store, hoped their only son might one day be a schoolteacher or a mail carrier. But Larry dreamed big,” Wallerstein wrote in the email. “He will be remembered and honored by future generations for his enduring support and his vision for what Baruch could become. His giving helped propel the College to new heights.”

David Shanton, vice president of college advancement which oversees donor relations, expressed his sadness to The Ticker.

“Baruch lost a true giant with the passing of Larry Field,” Shanton said in an email interview. “Even though he graduated over 60 years ago, he never forgot our students because he had so much in common with them.  The son of immigrants, he was the first in his family to achieve a college degree.  He had talent, ambition and drive like today’s Baruch students and used it to build a highly successful business.  He was larger than life and one of a kind.”

Additionally, the Baruch Alumni Association also expressed their remorse over the situation.

“He was an active and dedicated supporter of the BCAA for many years. He’s contributed to our scholarships and additional support of the programs that we have, professional development programs and things like that we hold throughout the year,” Michelle Corley, the executive director of the association, said.

“Years, years of support, so he was not one of those one-time alums.”

Dmitriy Pinchuk

Dmitriy Pinchuk was a Baruch College student studying psychology. According to his friends, Pinchuk was about 27 or 28 years old.

He was a linguist in the U.S. Army and a member of Baruch’s Student Veterans Association. He was a husband and the father of a son. He loved to travel with his family and see new places. He was skilled in woodworking and ceramics.

Friends described him as soft-spoken, friendly and disciplined.

According to other members of SVA, Pinchuk — who moved to New York City from Ukraine when he was six — was a bright student, passing his classes with high grades. He was able to speak Russian, Arabic and English.

SVA Vice President Thierno Diallo had a class with Pinchuk and said that he got 90s on every exam that the class took. Diallo also mentioned that the deceased had also created an online study guide for the entire class to use when studying for the final.

“He was a great guy,” Diallo said. “Just the kindness he was showing to all of us.”

This sentiment is a common thread among the other members of SVA, such as Jacob Michaels, who spent a lot of time with Pinchuk last semester.

“Just like you have an SAT or an ACT or an MCAT, or whatever, to get into different schools and programs, we have one for the military called ASVAB, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude and Battery test, it’s an aptitude test,” Michaels explained. “It goes from a scale to zero to 99. Dmitriy scored a 99.”

Another anecdote that Michaels shared of Pinchuk was how after leaving the Armed Forces, Pinchuk sold his car, bought an old school bus, retrofitted it all by himself to have plumbing and cooking appliances and then used it to take a cross-country road trip with his family.

“It seemed like everything he touched, he was good at,” Michaels said.

Justin Park

The least is known about Justin Park out of the three deaths that occurred. He was a Baruch College student living in the dorms, and he was rumored to have died of natural causes.

The Ticker has been unable to confirm his age, major, intended graduation year or level of involvement in student life.

While there is no public information on who Park was as a student, various Baruch offices expressed their condolences for the three deaths.

Wallerstein issued an official statement regarding the deaths of both students. “The Office of the Dean of Students is working with the families and with the campus communities most immediately affected,” the  Baruch president’s statement read in part.

“As we develop a plan to remember each of these individuals, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Art King will provide updates as appropriate. We ask at this time, however, that the members of the Baruch community respect the families’ privacy and period of mourning.”

The Office of the Dean of Students declined to comment for this tribute, however.

In specific, The Ticker reached out to Associate Director for Community Standards Brandy Peer and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Art King, who explained that they could not share information for the sake of the families.

The Alumni Association, on the other hand, did provide a comment on the situation.

“We do know that Baruch has the tendency of graduating some of the most brilliant minds that come through this institution and do feel the hurt and the depth of what could have been for the passing of our two, young students,” Corley said.

“We are definitely in bereavement with the families and we support the current student population and we are willing to partner with counseling in any way in which we can to offer additional support to the school.”