From Small Town to Big City, Business Graduate Finds Success at Berkeley College

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Berkeley College

A Berkeley College scholarship made all the difference for Dalton Privitt.

At the top of his class growing up in a small town in Tennessee, Mr. Privitt graduated high school early and started at a local community college when he was just 16. Finances limited his options, however, and by 18 Privitt was working more than 70 hours a week to support himself.

Then came the news that he had been awarded a scholarship that would cover 100 percent of his tuition at Berkeley College’s campus in Midtown Manhattan. “I couldn’t argue with that!” Mr. Privitt said. It took him just under three years to earn a Bachelor’s degree in General Business. He was accepted to the Honors Program, an interdisciplinary, seminar-based educational opportunity for high-achieving students. Mr. Privitt was among the 2,200 graduates to receive a Berkeley College diploma on May 10, 2019, during the Commencement ceremony at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

The journey from Big Sandy, TN, with just over 500 residents, to Manhattan was exhilarating, Mr. Privitt said. “I’ve loved every bit of it. I love the culture and the diversity.”

Mr. Privitt stayed with a cousin at a seminary when he first arrived, then got his own place in Brooklyn, NY. He worked full-time to pay for food and housing even as he immersed himself in college life. He co-founded and led Berkeley’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance, which advocates for LGTBQI+ issues and aims to create a sense of community and acceptance on campus.

“Dalton is a special person. He has overcome a lot of adversity where he came from in the South,” said Heidi Hoefinger, PhD, a Professor in the Berkeley College School of Liberal Arts and advisor for the Alliance. “He is inspirational, outspoken and a model for other students.”


Mr. Privitt’s academics also were exceptional. “I had him as an Honors student, where he was a strong critical thinker, and produced a provocative Honors thesis paper,” Dr. Hoefinger said of the research paper, Male Sex Work: Economics, Emotions, and Empowerment. “He will be greatly missed by everyone at Berkeley College, but I am certain he will go on to move mountains and do great things.”


Mr. Privitt is seeking a career in hospitality and is now working at VR World NYC – a virtual reality venue in Manhattan. His teachers at Berkeley – particularly Dr. Hoefinger – prepared him with “valuable skills and insights” that will serve him in the years to come, he said. “For me, being successful is being great at whatever you choose to do and being happy with where it has brought you in life,” he said.


Photo Caption: (Left) Dalton Privitt, a student in the Honors Program and co-founder of the Berkeley College Gender and Sexuality Alliance, received a Bachelor’s degree in General Business during the Berkeley College Commencement ceremony at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on May 10, 2019. (Right) Mr. Privitt poses with Heidi Hoefinger, PhD, a Professor of Liberal Arts and advisor of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, during the Commencement ceremony.


About Berkeley College


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 7,000 students – including more than 350 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 four campuses – Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For six 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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