Berkeley College celebrated the perseverance and achievements of more than 1,100 graduates during its recent commencement ceremony at the Prudential Center in Newark.
The Class of 2023 included 69 military and veteran graduates, 57 international students from 22 countries, and many first-generation college graduates. There were 622 bachelor’s degrees awarded, 407 associate degrees, 82 MBAs, and more than 100 certificates.
More than 150 “future healthcare heroes” earned either a B.S. degree in nursing or a licensed practical nursing certificate, according to the college’s Graduation by the Numbers infographic about the Class of 2023.
“There will never be more possibilities for your future than what lies in front of you at this very moment,” said Diane Recinos, Ed.D., president of Berkeley College. “Face what is next with the same grit, strength of character, and unwavering faith in yourselves and your talents that has brought you here to the finish line. Be fearless.”
The average age of this year’s Berkeley College graduate is 31, with 70 percent of the graduates aged 25 or older. More than 80% of the graduates who identified their ethnicity in a college survey identify as Black or Hispanic.
The graduates join the ranks of 65,000 Berkeley College alumni from around the world.
“As an alumnus of Berkeley College, your story continues. There is much more to be written,” said Kevin L. Luing, Berkeley College board chairman. “As your career progresses, we will always be there to support you in your professional development and career advancement. You are the future leaders in the workforce and in the community. Be proud.”
Cadjnie Cameau of Brooklyn, NY, who came to the United States in 2010 after an earthquake destroyed her home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award.
Angeline Gil of Paterson, a student leader who will use her degree to address disparities in the U.S. healthcare system, served as student speaker. NJBIA previously honored Gil as an undergraduate with its 2021 Rising Star Award.
“Each of our paths to higher education started with an aspiration, one to better ourselves, to expand our job opportunities, to defy stereotypes, and to gain knowledge in our fields of interest,” Gil said at the May 11 commencement ceremony. “Each hurdle we overcame is a lesson well learned. Let the experiences you gained at Berkeley College help you grow and become more who you were created to be – living in your purpose.”
Maria Rosario Behun, vice president and community manager at JP Morgan Chase & Co., was honored as Alumna of the Year.
Photo Caption: Berkeley College President Diane Recinos, Ed.D. at the college’s 2023 Commencement held May 11 at the Prudential Center in Newark.