Published April 29, 2020
Video by Gary Chropuvka; Photo Credit: Rutgers Business School
Gary Chropuvka, co-head of quantitative investment strategies with Goldman Sachs Asset Management, talks about his decision to support Rutgers students facing financial challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that’s ravaging the economy.
As a member of Rutgers Board of Overseers and a trustee, Chropuvka received an insider’s view of the dire situation many Rutgers students experience as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so he made an early gift to the student emergency relief funds. These relief funds help students cope with housing problems, loss of income, health care needs, and other issues.
They also safeguard Rutgers’ ability to provide affordable, world-class education to a diverse, talented student body and help students like this New Brunswick senior to continue in school even when faced with seemingly insurmountable hardship:
“I am a Rutgers Student and Student Worker at the one of the Recreation Center and my employment has been temporarily put on hold due to the outbreak. However, this affects me in more ways than the school knows. I am currently supporting my single mother and three younger siblings with paying for our daily necessities while going to school. This is my only source of income and due to the closure of recreation centers, I have no way of providing for my family and me.”
The closure of university housing and cessation of student employment has affected many students adversely.
- Without university resources and aid, some students face housing issues, food insecurity, and income loss.
- Some students are helping family members cope with health issues or are, themselves, facing health problems.
- Some students do not have the resources to continue their studies remotely.
- Some students have seen reliable sources of income—jobs in restaurants and retail outlets—vanish. Or their parents are among the thousands who have lost their jobs as the economy has shut down.
Rutgers students work hard throughout the year to accomplish their academic goals, give back to the community, and prepare to change the future of our world. Even in normal times, it’s not uncommon for students to face financial hardships and other roadblocks to their educational success. Fortunately, because of generous donors, Rutgers can step in when students need it most.
Now, more than ever, your support is critical.
Hi, I’m Gary Chropuvka. And I’m very proud to have graduated Rutgers with a math degree in 1993. I wanted to say a few words about why our family made a gift to the student emergency response funds the university has recently set up. I’m sure we’re all so proud of the news earlier this week that our hardworking research teams will likely roll out a new saliva-based testing for COVID-19 that will aim to increase the ease and the amount of people tested. As a member of the Rutgers Board of Overseers and the Board of Trustees, I’ve been given an inside view of how the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded here at Rutgers, and how the university has responded to it. For some students, this situation while serious, it’s just going to cause them to learn differently for a while at home or online.
But for a lot of other students, it’s not that easy. Some of their stories are truly heartbreaking. The pandemic has caused a lot of difficulties, both by making people sick, and because of the economic upheaval it has caused. Many students either have a sick relative at home, they have health problems themselves, they can’t work at their Rutgers job because the university is closed, and as a result have no source of income. Some of them don’t have a place to live without university housing. Some of them don’t have enough to eat without university meals. One of our students wrote this when applying for relief funds.
“I’m currently supporting my single mother and three younger siblings with paying for our daily necessities while going to school. My job at the Rutgers Recreation Center is my only source of income. And due to its closure, I have no way of providing for my family and me.”
This is just one specific case and there are many reasons that people find themselves in these circumstances. This isn’t easy for anyone, and none of us are immune to the effects of this situation. What’s important now is that this is an extraordinary time to make a difference. Our Rutgers students need our help. There are a lot of Rutgers alumni and friends who can provide assistance. I believe that those of us who are in a position to help should help. Our family decided to be one of those ones to support our extended Rutgers family. Thank you to all the donors who have stepped up, and to the Rutgers University Foundation staff, which has responded so quickly to this crisis in order to help the students who are in need. If you haven’t stepped up yet, please consider helping those gritty and hardworking Rutgers students through this extraordinary time. Thank you.