This tree is actually going to be planted right next to the Tubman monument … that speaks volumes to the mission and vision of the college, making sure that you appeal to a diverse group of people in this city and making sure that they not only come to this school but they also graduate,” said Baraka.
The College was first established on September 28, 1931, in East Orange, NJ. Berkeley marked its return to Essex County with the opening of the Newark campus 15 years ago and has been part of the city’s economic revival.
“Besides our continued focus on student success where the student always comes first, Berkeley College maintains its dedication to being a part of the local community and giving back,” said Kevin L. Luing, Chairman, Berkeley College Board of Trustees, who also noted that since opening in 2006, more than 1,600 students have earned degrees from Berkeley’s Newark campus.
“Berkeley College has been part of (Newark’s) vibrance. We are a hub for technology, we are a hub for employment … we are also the epicenter for higher education institutions,” said Ruiz. “Berkeley has been a part of that fabric.” Michael J. Smith, former President of Berkeley College, said, “We are of this community. We take the young people and those who want to reskill and prepare them so that when they graduate they are going to be hired.”
Oliver, who served as the keynote speaker, also shared her long history with Berkeley College, which she said dates back to 2004 when she was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly. During her remarks, O l i v e r s a i d , “ T h e marriage of Governor Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver occurred in the Berkeley College building in Newark.” She recalled her first meeting with the New Jersey Governor, which she said took place at Berkeley’s Donald M. Payne, Sr. Library. “I wanted to introduce this person who was contemplating running for governor to some of the institutions that existed in our community,” she said.
“I wish you another 90 years of growth, another 90 years of service in our city and in the State of New Jersey,” said Baraka.
Additional festivities were held on September 28, 2021, in the municipalities where Berkeley’s other New Jersey campuses are located: Woodland Park, Woodbridge and Paramus, coinciding with a proclamation issued by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declaring September 28, 2021, as “Berkeley College 90th Anniversary Day.”