A Message from the President:
Commencement Reminds Us to Seize the Moment, Lend a Hand
Commencement is often looked at as a point of completion for our students, but it is actually a time new beginnings. More than 2,300 students completed their studies at Berkeley College during the 2015-2016 academic year, with the majority of these graduates celebrating with their families and loved ones at Prudential Center on April 29, 2016.
Commencement Speaker Mildred García, EdD, President of California State University, Fullerton, called on students to find strength in their purpose, as she shared her story on the road to success. Dr. Garcia spoke about the educational journey from Brooklyn, NY, to becoming the first Latina chief executive in the largest system of public higher education in the United States.
“I have indeed had to fight, using my mind, my heart, determination, and above all, my education to get to where I am today,” Dr. García told students. “But it is my hope, as it was my parents’ hope before me, that through my battles and victories the path for students like you will be riddled with less obstacles and many more opportunities.”
Many of us had the opportunity to work with Dr. García during her tenure as the first system-wide president at Berkeley College from 2001 through 2007. Like Dr. Garcia and I said at the Commencement ceremony, we encourage our graduates to seize the moment and to lend a hand to other students who may need encouragement as they pursue their education.
Life’s journeys are filled with many unknowns, but a helping hand can go a long way toward an achievement that lasts a lifetime.
Michael J. Smith
President of Berkeley College