Berkeley College Commemorates 90th Anniversary with Tree-Planting Ceremony in Zaccaria Park in Woodland Park, NJ

Friday, October 1, 2021
Contact: Chanel Donaldson
Senior Associate, Media Relations



Photo Caption: Berkeley College celebrated its 90th anniversary with a cherry tree-planting ceremony held in Zaccaria Park in Woodland Park, NJ, on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. (Left) Joseph Spinelli and Tina Gatti, Woodland Park Councilmembers, Keith Kazmark, Mayor of Woodland Park, and (right) Pasquale “Pat” Lepore, Director, Passaic County Board of Commissioners, and Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara, Passaic County Commissioner, present Kevin L. Luing, Chairman, Berkeley College Board of Trustees, and Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College, with proclamations in honor of the College’s history in the region.

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Berkeley College celebrated its 90-year history in New Jersey with a tree-planting ceremony in Woodland Park’s Zaccaria Park on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. Keith Kazmark, Mayor of Woodland Park, Pasquale “Pat” Lepore, Director, Passaic County Board of Commissioners, and Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara, Passaic County Commissioner, were among the dignitaries to pay tribute to the College at the event.

The ceremony included recognition of a commemorative cherry tree planted in the park. Officials noted the symbolic importance of the tree in relation to Berkeley’s long history in Woodland Park.

“We are very excited about the planting of this tree,” said Kazmark. “We are rich in history because we have Berkeley College right here in our hometown.”

“We couldn’t be happier than to say congratulations to the College. Ninety years is a long time I know you have a lot of good work left to do,” said Lazzara. “Berkeley will be one of my fondest memories of being here in Woodland Park,” added Lepore, who was formerly the Mayor of Woodland Park from 1997 to 2011.

Berkeley College conducted its first classes as The Berkeley School on September 28, 1931, in East Orange, NJ, to provide pathways and opportunities for women during the Great Depression. The school evolved from a premier secretarial school to a widely recognized degree-granting institution offering Associate, Bachelor and Master level degrees, as well as Certificate and Continuing Education programs in a range of career fields. Berkeley’s main campus was relocated to Woodland Park in 1976 after operating in East Orange for 45 years.

“Berkeley gave us a superior education. And at the end of graduation, we went out into the work world and we received a higher position having been there,” said Barbara Speziale, a Berkeley College Class of 1958 alumnus, who studied at Berkeley’s first campus location in East Orange and was an honored guest at the ceremony.

 Berkeley alumni at Woodland Park tree-planting ceremony

Photo Caption: Berkeley College alumni Busie Matsiko-Andan (left), Class of 2004, who is also a member the Berkeley College Board of Trustees, and Barbara Speziale (right), Class of 1958, celebrate Berkeley College Day at a cherry tree-planting ceremony held in Zaccaria Park in Woodland Park, NJ, on September 28, 2021.

“Woodland Park is our home … our most enduring campus location,” said Kevin L. Luing, Chairman, Berkeley College Board of Trustees. “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,” he added.

“A tree is symbolic,” said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College. “The trees that we plant today are going to be here into the future. When Berkeley celebrates its 180th anniversary, with our children’s children’s children, the story of Berkeley will continue to be told,” Smith added.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a proclamation declaring September 28, 2021, as “Berkeley College 90th Anniversary Day.” The Borough of Woodland Park and Passaic County also presented the College with proclamations at the ceremony to honor the legacy and history of Berkeley in the region.

Additional festivities were held on September 28 in communities where Berkeley College campuses are located, including Woodbridge and Paramus; and on September 29 a tree-planting ceremony was held in Newark.

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. U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College (NJ) one of the Best Regional Colleges in the North in its 2022 edition of the Best Colleges Survey. In 2021 Berkeley College (NJ) was also recognized for the first time as a Top Performer on Social Mobility among colleges in the region. The website address is

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


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