“The Brookdale Community College Alumni Association has helped me keep in touch with a school that helped me at a turning point in my life when I was making decisions that would affect my life, present and future, as well as my family,” said Brian Duffy, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association.
“I chose Brookdale because it offered me the opportunity to attend classes at night, around both of my jobs, and enable me to get an education, a two-year degree, that I could take to a four-year college,” Duffy, a business administration major, said. “With all of its programs, flexible schedule, and location, Brookdale was a simple choice.”
While the decision to attend Brookdale might have been simple, Duffy still felt unsure as he was a returning student with the additional responsibilities of work and family along with being a student. “I was a very unconventional student, working two jobs, six to seven days a week, and some nights, while trying to help my wife raise our young children,” he explained.
Despite being an unconventional student, Duffy excelled at Brookdale. He was a member of the international two-year college honor society Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and graduated Brookdale with a 3.99 GPA in May 2000.
After Brookdale, Duffy transferred to Kean University where he earned his bachelor’s degree. “I feel the accomplishment of going to college part-time for six years, while working two jobs and having a family, was an accomplishment on its own,” said Duffy.
“I was a mailman in my 20s, a college student in my 30s, worked in the corporate world in my 40s, and am now an entrepreneur and business owner in my 50s, as I own the Allstate Insurance Agency in nearby Eatontown. Brookdale made all of this possible,” Duffy explained.
Duffy joined Brookdale’s Alumni Association in 2012, was treasurer of the Board from 2015 – 2017, and became reengaged in 2020. “My initial involvement was mostly serving on committees having to do with finance and fundraising. This time around, I am looking to get a bit more involved in mentoring students,” said Duffy. “My story is that of an unconventional student, and I feel there are others who are in my shoes, young and old, who guidance.” Duffy would like to be a mentor for unconventional students to help make their time at Brookdale as successful and rewarding as his was.