Berkeley College Gala Honors Families of Fallen Soldiers and 150 Military and Veteran Graduates

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2016
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122



Berkeley College military veteransBerkeley College honored the sacrifices of veterans and their families, including the nearly 150 military and veteran students who will graduate from the College later this month, at the 4th Annual Salute to Veterans Gala on April 7, 2016. 

“The Salute to Veterans Gala honors our student-veterans, the military community, and the families of the fallen,” said Richard E. Robitaille, EdD, Berkeley College Associate Vice President, Office of Military and Veterans Affairs. “It is a deeply emotional time to remember the sacrifices of our veterans and their families.” 

The evening featured a screening of the fourth installment of the Veterans History Project, a video initiative of the U.S. Library of Congress that was created to collect and preserve personal accounts of American service members, as well as a Veterans Reflection Project gallery of military portraits. 

Keynote speakers included Guy Swan, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General who supports soldiers as part of the Association of the United States Army, and Earl Granville, a U.S. Army veteran who was wounded in combat and works to raise awareness about the mental health struggles in today’s military. The event also honored Gold Star Families of service members lost in combat. 

“Family members are now fully part of the war as much as those who are serving in uniform,” said Lt. Gen. Swan, a native of Wayne, NJ. “We can never thank them enough.” 

During the event, Berkeley College distributed certificates and red, white and blue honor cords to military graduates to wear during the College’s Commencement ceremony on April 29, 2016. 

Since 2009, more than 500 military and veteran students have graduated from Berkeley College. More than 530 are currently enrolled. For the third consecutive year, Berkeley College has been ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report

“Tonight we salute our student-veterans who have enriched our Berkeley family in so many ways,” said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College. “You are our student leaders, our athletes and scholars. Our fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. You are the pride of Berkeley College.” 

Berkeley College student Alfonso Matos-Mesa of the central Bronx, NY, a veteran of the U.S. Marines and recipient of the Purple Heart, spoke about the difficulties veterans face transitioning to civilian life. 

“Veterans are people who sacrifice their time and effort for their country,” said Mr. Matos-Mesa, who serves as President of the Berkeley Warriors club for student-veterans. “They need a chance to find themselves in their personal lives and their professional lives.” 

In 2015, Berkeley College hosted a Spring Veterans Career Expo with the goal of helping veterans and their families develop career skills and find employment. More than 50 employers attended with ready-to-fill positions for veterans. 

Learn More: Click here to learn more about the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,300 students – including more than 700 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate 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 a Master of Business Administration degree in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ. 

Berkeley College has five New Jersey campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. In New York there are three campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, both for the third consecutive year. The website address is

 Berkeley College Reflection Project

Photo Captions: (Top right) Berkeley College student Alfonso Matos-Mesa, a veteran of the U.S. Marines and recipient of the Purple Heart, talks about the challenges facing returning veterans at the 4th Annual Salute to Veterans Gala. (Above) The Veterans Reflection Project, a gallery of military portraits, shows past and present images of veterans. (Below) Keynote speaker Earl Granville, a U.S. Army veteran who was wounded in combat, speaks about the mental health struggles in today’s military.

 Berkeley College Earl Granville

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