Alumnus Emil Kesselman sits next to President Harry Truman

This past May, Emil Kesselman (’76) served as the grand marshal of Long Island’s Oceanside Memorial Day Parade. The 92-year-old U.S. Navy veteran has another claim to fame, though. He worked side by side with President Harry S. Truman in 1951, taking dictation for the commander-in-chief while stationed in Florida.

If Mr. Kesselman ever penned his memoirs, he would undoubtedly also write of his atypical college years. He enrolled in Baruch—then City College “downtown”—in 1948; left to serve in the Korean War; and eventually completed his Baruch degree in 1976, after 12 straight years of evening classes. The alumnus graduated with honors, magna cum laude, and was the recipient of the Wollman Memorial Medal in Business Administration. He enjoyed a long and successful career in human resources, working for such companies as Brillo and Eden Toys, LLC, before semiretiring in 1992.

And what was it like to work with President Truman? “He was terrific,” says Kesselman. “Very down-to-earth. He knew what everything was all about.”

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