Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Berkeley Brooklyn Campus Grand Opening Unveiling of Berkeley College Heritage Time line

Photo by Kathryn Kirk
Friday, April 15, 2011 marked a milestone in the history of Berkeley College as we celebrated the grand opening of our Brooklyn campus and the unveiling of the 80th Anniversary Berkeley College Heritage Timeline.

Our distinguished guests at the event included Kevin L. Luing, Chairman of the Berkeley College Board of Trustees; Board of Trustees Timothy D. Luing, Warren J. Martin Jr. Esq., José A. Tavares, and Kenneth L. Weinstein; Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, area legislators, and members of the Brooklyn business community, who joined Berkeley faculty, associates and students in marking this historic occasion.

As the Berkeley College Heritage Timeline so effectively illustrates, the establishment of our Brooklyn campus is only the latest achievement in the proud history of an institution that has been changing lives for 80 years.

Developed as a class project by the Leadership Berkeley Class of 2010, the timeline traces Berkeley’s growth from its origin as a secretarial school established at the height of the Great Depression in 1931 to its present status as a four-year college providing academic opportunities to 9,000 students at eight locations in New Jersey, New York and Online.

The establishment of the Brooklyn campus is particularly meaningful to me because it was in Brooklyn that I began my own academic journey as a community college student, commuting each night from my home in Bayside, Queens. I later transferred to Queens College, where I earned my bachelor’s degree.

Our efforts to establish a campus in Brooklyn began more than five years ago with the idea that Brooklyn was a place we wanted to be. Over the next few years, we made many visits to this borough in search of an appropriate location.

With the invaluable assistance of area legislators, borough officials, members of the academic and business communities and the guidance and leadership of Tom Alessandrello, Berkeley College Vice President of Operations and Conrad Walker, Campus Operating Officer - we were able to find, renovate and open our new facility at 255 Duffield Street (the corner of Duffield and Fulton).

Our new location is easily accessible via public transportation from all five boroughs. The new facility has 10 classrooms, a student support center, a student lounge, bookstore, library, office space and an art gallery that will engage Berkeley students, faculty and associates in the intellectual life of this diverse community.

The largest borough in New York City, Brooklyn hosts people from 150 countries that speak 136 languages. As Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz puts it, Brooklyn is “home to everyone from everywhere.” In short, it is a Berkeley College kind of place.

Today, more than 500 students are receiving the student-centered Berkeley education of which we are so proud right here in Brooklyn. We look forward to changing the lives of students at our Brooklyn campus for many decades to come.