FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MAY 8, 2017
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122
GRADUATES AT BERKELEY COLLEGE REPRESENT
President Michael Smith Tells 2017 Graduates:
Berkeley College celebrated the largest graduating class to date during the 2017 Commencement ceremony at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on May 5, 2017. More than 2,900 students have been awarded Certificate, Associate’s, Bachelor’s degrees. The Commencement ceremony also included the first class of those receiving MBA in Management degrees. The graduating class included 175 military and veteran students and 200 international students, representing 42 countries.
“This is your day,” said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College. “You have done it. The opportunities that stand before you are endless. From this moment forward, there are no limits other than what you place on yourself.”
The Berkeley College Class of 2017 comprises graduates who exemplify the “new” traditional student, many of whom have come to the United States from other countries. The average age of a Berkeley College graduate in 2017 is 28.5 years. Just over 31 percent of the graduates entered Berkeley as first-time, full-time students; and, more than 81 percent identify as a minority.
Among these graduates was Jason De La Cruz, this year’s recipient of the Robert Maher Award, an honor given to a graduate who has met high standards of academic excellence while overcoming personal, professional or financial obstacles. A resident of the Bronx, NY, Mr. De La Cruz was 11 years old when he emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic with his family. He maintained a grade-point average of 3.7 while also having to look after his grandfather’s well-being and adjusting to his new home country.
Click here to read more about Mr. De La Cruz.
Felice Brown of North Brunswick, NJ, represented the graduating class as the Student Speaker, and addressed the importance of perseverance. “Remember graduates, the degree you attain today is the start of your journey,” she said. “Continue striving, continue persevering, continue growing, and you will achieve every success you have longed for.” A graduate from Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ, Ms. Brown graduated magna cum laude with a BBA in General Business.
Photo Captions A and B: (Top) The 2017 Berkeley College Commencement Ceremony was held at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on May 5, 2017. More than 2,900 students have been awarded Certificate, Associate’s, Bachelor’s degrees. The Commencement ceremony also included the first class of those receiving MBA in Management degrees. (Above) Berkeley College Student Speaker Felice Brown of North Brunswick, NJ, addresses her fellow graduates during the 2017 Berkeley College Commencement Ceremony.
Alumna Nancy Robles-Guess of Totowa, NJ, was honored with the 2017 Alumni of the Year award. At the age of 7, Ms. Robles-Guess moved with her mother from Costa Rica to Paterson, NJ. Struggling with poverty and an abusive relationship that left her discouraged and alone with three children, she discovered an opportunity to provide for her kids and change her life, by enrolling at Berkeley College. Today she is the Executive Vice President of Operations and Compliance Officer at Eastern Funding, LLC, a commercial lender to small- and medium-sized businesses nationwide.
Click here to read more about Ms. Robles-Guess.
Photo Caption C: Berkeley College alumna Nancy Robles-Guess (left) receives the 2017 Alumni of the Year award from Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College, during the 2017 Berkeley College Commencement Ceremony on May 5, 2017, at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
Berkeley College graduates join a network of more than 50,000 alumni and receive lifetime career assistance.
The graduates also received a video message of encouragement from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “You are getting a great, great degree and it will help you in this changing and new world,” Senator Schumer said. “And I would wish you two things. One – that you wake up Monday morning and you love going to work. Two – when you go home Friday afternoon to your family, that you can’t wait to go home. It is my hope, it is my wish, it is my prayer, that you pass those two tests with flying colors.”
Click here to watch Senator Schumer’s message to the Berkeley College graduates.
A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 8,000 students – including more than 550 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.
Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are five campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For four consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.
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