Berkeley College Commemorates 90th Anniversary with Tree-Planting Ceremony in Soon-to-Be Tubman Square at Washington Park in Newark, NJ

Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Contact: Chanel Donaldson
Senior Associate, Media Relations


Photo Caption: Berkeley College celebrated its 90th anniversary with a cherry tree-planting ceremony held in Newark’s Washington Park on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver (fourth from left) was among the honored guests to pay tribute to the College at the event. Pictured left to right: Luis Collazo, Campus Operating Officer, Newark, Berkeley College; Kevin L. Luing, Chairman, Berkeley College Board of Trustees; Busie Matsiko-Andan, Board of Trustees and Alumnus, Berkeley College; Oliver; LaTysha Gaines, 90th Anniversary Event Co-Chair and Campus Operating Officer, Woodland Park and Paramus, Berkeley College; Michael J. Smith, President, Berkeley College; Teri Duda, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Berkeley College; Larry Crump, Newark City Council Member-At-Large; and Bryan Santiago, 90th Anniversary Event Co-Chair, Chair and Security Analyst and Administrator, Information Systems, Berkeley College.

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Berkeley College celebrated its 90-year history in New Jersey with a tree-planting ceremony in Newark’s Washington Park on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. Sheila Y. Oliver, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor, M. Teresa Ruiz, New Jersey Senator, and Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of Newark, were among the dignitaries to pay tribute to the College at the event.

The ceremony included recognition of a commemorative cherry tree in the soon-to-be renamed Tubman Square. Officials noted the symbolic importance of the tree’s location, which is positioned across the street from Berkeley College’s Newark campus at 536 Broad Street, where the College has operated a campus since 2006.

“I’m proud that (the tree) will stand next to what will become Tubman Square,” said Oliver. “It’s going to give a lot of inspiration to people as they learn the history of Harriet Tubman and then see this tree.”


Photo Caption: Sheila Y. Oliver, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor (left), M. Teresa Ruiz, New Jersey Senator (center), and Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of Newark (right), were among dignitaries to pay tribute to Berkeley College during a ceremony celebrating its 90th anniversary at Washington Park in Newark, NJ, on September 29, 2021.

“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, 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, Oliver said, “The 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.”

About Berkeley College
Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers continuing education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge, and Woodland Park, NJ, and in Midtown Manhattan, NY, and with more than 4,900 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. 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, for eight consecutive years. The website address is

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.