Berkeley College Honors Jason De La Cruz as 2017 Robert Maher Award Recipient

MONDAY, MAY 8, 2017
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122



Photo Caption: Berkeley College student Jason De La Cruz (center) receives the Robert Maher Award during the College’s Commencement ceremony on May 5, 2017, at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Also pictured with Mr. De La Cruz is Dallas Reed, PhD, Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life, Berkeley College (left); and Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College (right).


Berkeley College student Jason De La Cruz received the Robert Maher Award during the College’s Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 5, 2017, at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The award is 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. While enrolled at Berkeley College, he also took care of his grandfather, taking his grandfather to medical appointments and seeing to his well-being. All the while he was learning a second-language and adjusting to life in his new home country.


“Being able to take classes during the afternoon and night helped me manage my time effectively, as did having the support of the Berkeley College staff,” Mr. De La Cruz said. “I’ve learned that even when facing your biggest challenges and hardships, there will always be a path toward success.”


Despite his loaded schedule, Mr. De La Cruz maintained a grade-point average of 3.7 while pursuing his BBA in General Business. He also served as a peer tutor for the Berkeley College Center for Academic Success while interning at New York-based Special Materials Company (SMC). He is the first in his family to graduate with a college degree.


One of Mr. De La Cruz’s most memorable moments at Berkeley College came when he helped a distraught student improve her grades in a math course, ultimately helping that student graduate. “I learned from my grandmother that it is better to give than to receive,” Mr. De La Cruz said. “So when I saw that student struggling, I started thinking of my grandmother. Seeing her always ready to give back without waiting for anything in return taught me how the more I help others in need, the more I can prosper.”


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


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