Berkeley Today

Alumnus Recalls Transitions and Successes at Berkeley College

Robert Artis was a standout student during his years at Berkeley College, but not in the ways you may think. As the College began to transition to a co-ed institution in the 1980s, Mr. Artis was, at one point, the only male student on campus in Woodland Park.

"When I started at Berkeley, I was one of only three men who attended at that time," said Mr. Artis, who began his college career in 1983. "The other two graduated, so I was the male there for two or three quarters."

Mr. Artis put his degree on hold in the 1980s, but returned to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in Marketing in 1994. Today, he serves as Assistant Director of The ARC of Morris, where he has worked for more than 18 years. The ARC provides services for people affected by intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Mr. Artis said the courses and instructors at Berkeley College helped him achieve many of his current successes.

"Berkeley has great management courses," he said. "For most of my adult life I’ve worked in management in some form, and I would not have been as successful if it was not for Berkeley."

Mr. Artis said Berkeley transformed him from a shy individual to someone with the confidence to express himself. He will have the opportunity to use this skill as Prospect Park Councilman, a position to which he was elected in November.

"I was a shy person who never had the nerve to speak in public," said Mr. Artis. "Through Berkeley’s communications and writing skills classes, I gained confidence."

He also praised the instructors who encouraged him to break out of his shell as a fashion model for various runway shows sponsored by the College.

"I have achieved in many areas of life because of great instructors," he said. "Instructors like this are why Berkeley has become the outstanding institution that it is."

Speaking at a recent 80th anniversary event at his alma mater, Mr. Artis said attending Berkeley College was an experience he will never forget.

"I am so proud of how far Berkeley has come, and equally as proud of where it is going," he said.