As Berkeley College continues to celebrate 85 years focused on student success, its third system-wide president, Michael J. Smith, was inaugurated to the office on May 13, 2016, in Woodland Park, NJ. Nearly 1,000 family and friends, colleagues, faculty and staff, business officials and legislators gathered under a large tent set upon the grounds for the occasion.
In his Inauguration Address, President Smith emphasized the power of the word “One,” noting that each Berkeley College associate can make a difference in the College’s Mission to change the lives of students.
“Today is not my inauguration, it is yours,” President Smith told associates. “Know in your hearts that we are passionate about changing students’ lives.”
Here are some highlights from this exciting milestone for Berkeley College:
Preparations for the Ceremony
Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College; Gregg Edwards, Deputy Secretary, New Jersey Department of Higher Education; and members of the Berkeley College Board of Trustees prepare for the Inauguration ceremony.
Thomas Alessandrello, Berkeley College Senior Vice President, Operations; Shelly Rosen, Professor, Management, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®; and Beth Castiglia, PhD, Berkeley College Provost, display the Seal, the Mace and the Medallion, the academic symbols of Berkeley College.
Remarks from Chairman Kevin Luing
“Michael’s vision is ‘One Berkeley,’ where everyone is focused on student success and obsessed with graduation. He has lived that over the past year,” said Kevin L. Luing, Board Chairman, in his remarks.
N.J. Department of Education Greetings
“Berkeley College is fortunate to have a leader who is so intimately familiar with the organization and dedicated to its students,” said Gregg Edwards, Deputy Secretary, New Jersey Department of Higher Education, acknowledging President Smith’s nearly 20 years with the College.
Presentation from Alumni Community
Andrea Nemeth, Vice President, Alumni Leadership Council and Assistant Campus Operating Officer, Woodland Park, delivered greetings from the more than 50,000 Berkeley College alumni worldwide.
She presented a key symbolizing the success and unity of Berkeley College alumni, inscribed with the message “Student Success is Key.”
“Today, our Alumni Association is confident that under the leadership and guidance of our new President, Berkeley College will continue to grow and prosper while staying true to its roots and traditions,” she said.
Remarks from the Smith Family
Monica Smith, President Smith’s sister, delivered remarks on behalf of the Smith family. President Smith is one of seven siblings. Monica Smith presented a Top 10 List of things to know about the President of Berkeley College, as well as “Michael J. Smith’s Greatest Hits,” a Bruce Springsteen-inspired video produced especially for the celebration.
Kevin L. Luing, Board Chair, and Randy Luing, Vice Chair, introduced the Seal, the Mace and the Medallion as the academic symbols of Berkeley College.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Berkeley College community, Kevin Luing welcomed Michael J. Smith as President of Berkeley College.
“Yours is the privilege and responsibility of leading Berkeley College to the fulfillment of its great promise,” he said. “I assure you of our confidence in you and give you our pledge to support you.”
In his Inauguration Address, President Smith acknowledged those who have impacted his educational journey, from the great authors and speakers, to his “spiritual adviser,” Bruce Springsteen.
“I learned a lot in school, I learned a lot from reading, and I learned from the occasional three-minute record too,” he said.
He also thanked the associates who have been with him since the beginning of his journey at Berkeley College, as well as the Luing family and Past Chairman Larry L. Luing.
“You are the people who really embody what the spirit and the culture of Berkeley College is all about,” he said.
President Smith spoke about the many things he learned from his experiences as President so far, including his Day One 10-campus tour and his 52 classroom visits in 52 weeks.
Inauguration in the News
New Jersey Business Magazine
Berkeley College Inaugurates Third President
Westchester County Business Journal
Berkeley College Inaugurates New President, Former Westchester Legislator
Cortlandt Daily Voice
Michael J. Smith Inaugurated as Berkeley College President in Woodland Park
College President Gets Official Welcome
Visit the Media Coverage page of the Berkeley College News Room for more news clips.