Alumni with a bright future taken too soon
Published: Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Updated: Sunday, February 15, 2009 01:02
On June 20, the Baruch community lost one of its best and brightest graduates, Nathaniel Younger. Winner of Bank of America's highly competitive 2006 Youth Entrepreneur Award, by his early twenties Nathaniel was already an accomplished businessman and a remarkably talented actor who had graduated from the Zicklin School of Business with a B.B.A. in Economics and a minor in Theatre.
Aptly described by his friend, Linoy Shurygin, as "a wonder boy that can do anything," Nathaniel achieved success in every field he entered. His success in business, and rare talents as a thespian can be credited to his astonishing lack of fear and an unusual ability to take on high risks - allowing him to reap the benefits.
"Nathaniel lived life like no one I'd ever known," said Lola Yahaya (Weissman '07), who attended advanced acting class with Nathaniel. "That, in some ways, is a comfort. We weren't close enough that I would know how much he accomplished and lived, but from the little time I got to spend with him I got to know that he took a chance on every chance that dared make itself known to him. Nathaniel went above and beyond, never worried about troubles or disappointments that could possibly come his way."
His business prowess started at a very young age. Leilani-Kali Rivers, who knew him since she was about six years old, recalls that when Nathaniel was nine he had already figured out how to create his own fireworks, which he in turn sold to all the neighborhood's kids. Although she was "freaked out," fearing he was going to accidentally blow them all up, Nathaniel ended up making a hefty profit. "Always the businessman," she fondly remembers, "Always on the edge."
With its founder still in college, Nathaniel's self-made company, Beyond Limits, Inc., commercially excelled in selling high-end car customizations, including external and internal enhancements. Immediately upon after graduation, Nathaniel had been appointed positions in UBS as well as Bear Stearns within two years.
Nir Buchler (Weissman '08, majoring in political science), former president of the Baruch Hillel club, remembers Nathaniel as "a fun guy who you would enjoy to meet. He was very friendly and with great aspirations. He was really full of life. He was never afraid of take[ing] on any projects; with such resolve, I knew that he was going to go far in his field."
"He was wildly creative and full [of] passion," remembers Debbie Saivetz, former associate professor of theatre at Baruch (2001-2007), who remembers Nathaniel mastering her advanced acting and directing classes. "I often felt as if we were all moving too slowly for him, but then we'd all catch up with each other and would share in his wonderful energy and spirit."
During his past tenure as a guest artist at Baruch College, Professor Ed Lingan cast and directed Nathaniel in his adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's Faustus story,"Dr. Faustus: Occult Remix." "Nathaniel was dedicated to the art of theatre," he remembers. "He was not content to simply play the part; he sought ways to play it well. He had great integrity. He stuck by his artistic principles, even if they were unpopular, and I respected him for that. Nathaniel had strong character and firm resolve."
Nathaniel was recognized and extensively profiled in the Fall '06 issue of Baruch College Alumni Magazine, which described him as "impressive and thoroughly engaging." The piece, entitled "Faust and Furious," interviewed the young business wizard and detailed his rise to financial success.
One of Nathaniel's fellow actors from the aforementioned play, Raymond Gu (Zicklin '07), recalls his close friend's incredible personality. "I learned a lot from him," he says, "Anyone friends with Nathaniel knows that he truly lived a fulfilled life. I still remember vividly until this day, how Nathaniel always advised me on how to live life to the absolute fullest…. to do 'crazy' things, not to be afraid to think a little bit 'out there.' I find myself to have been greatly inspired by him."
Nathaniel's spare time was filled with thrilling hobbies, ranging from skydiving, scuba-diving and NASCAR training programs. Other activities included golfing and a love for exotic travel. Allysa Ramdass (Weissman '08) recalls that Nathaniel's second-degree black belt even permitted him to substitute for the teacher during warm-ups in Baruch's combat classes.
Joel Ney (Zicklin '06), The Ticker's former arts editor and one of Nathaniel's closest confidantes, sat by him during graduation ceremonies at Madison Square Garden. Ney says that Nathaniel's passing is extremely difficult to bear for him, as he was a trusted anchor who appeared never stressed and was amazingly philosophical about life. He describes his departed friend as "a rare individual of incredible magnitude, a magical mix of fire and grace."
"Nathaniel had this unusual ability to balance a fierce sense of business propriety along with a heart of pure gold," he says, "He wanted to win, and pretty much always did, which obviously made some furious; but if you were lucky enough to get to know him on a personal level, you would find a gentle and thoughtful soul who cared deeply about people, romance and nature. The enigma that was Nathaniel was his absolutely unique personality - embodied by one of his favorite expressions, 'you're crazy!!....the question is, are you crazy enough?' - that allowed him to reach the extraordinary heights that he did."
"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, it is a reality to be experienced," Younger once wrote.
"Nate was just this awesome guy," another co-star, Maylin Castro (Weissman '06), writes. "There is no other way to put it. He was one of those friends that inspired you. Nate would live life to the fullest extent of the word. He achieved so much at such a young age, and yet, it isn't about the many achievements that sum up his life, but it is really about the way he really touched every person that was a part of his life. He was a great friend, one of those rare gems that you find as you pass along the journey that is life. He had this insight in people, and always knew what was wrong even when no words were said. It is with great sadness and great joy that I write this note… sadness that he is no longer with us, and joy to have been able to meet someone like him."