Bryant’s 2019 Giving Day inspired generous giving from Bryant community members across the country and around the world. Though final numbers have yet to be tallied, at press time more than 1,600 donors gave in excess of $700,000 to the University. Those contributions will help fund vital scholarships, academic offerings, student life activities, women’s initiatives, athletics, and more.
With a “Be a Part of Something Big” theme, the October 24 Giving Day was a reminder that when everyone joins an effort, even small contributions can add up to something big. Donating from as far away as Hong Kong, people from around the world remembered Bryant – alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students, and friends all rallied to show their support by donating, and encouraging friends and family to do the same.
“The Bryant community came together once again to help the University strengthen our academic and co-curricular programs, as well as our scholarship offerings and global initiatives,” said David Wegrzyn ’86, M.Ed., Vice President for University Advancement. “I’m so proud to be a part of this worldwide community of Bulldogs who believe so deeply in the future of Bryant, our students, and the value of a Bryant University degree.”
“After 24 years of working at this great institution,” said Ronald K. Machtley, who will retire as University President at the end of the 2020 academic year, “one thing that I’ve learned is never underestimate the capacity of great people to accomplish great goals. Bryant’s successful Giving Day and its generous donor challenges brought hundreds of individuals together to be a part of something big.”
This year’s Giving Day success received a substantial lift from several challenges and contests throughout the day. For the second consecutive year, dedicated Bryant supporters Kathryn “Kathi” (Jurewicz) ’81 and Joseph “Joe” Puishys ’80 issued a $100,000 challenge to help Bryant reach Giving Day fundraising goals. In addition, an anonymous donor stepped up this year with a $100,000 challenge, matching each gift as it came in until the challenge amount was met.
The Dean’s Council for the College of Business issued their own $50,000 match challenge, and several scholarship and athletic challenges were complemented by a number of in-the-moment challenges from donors online as the momentum of the day grew.
Thirty-two percent of giving came from undergraduate and graduate alumni. High alumni participation in giving helps boost Bryant’s national rankings – up to No. 7 regionally this year according to US News & World Report, and No. 25 nationally for International Business – making Bryant an even stronger and more prestigious institution.
Black & Gold Athletics had the highest number of individual donors, at 406. Giving Day Advocates reached out to family and friends to encourage donations, with Briana Marconnon ’20 alone generating 46 donations from her senior classmates, and winning a prize for her enthusiastic efforts.
Balloons adorned the Rotunda for the day, where giant letters spelling out the Bryant name set the stage for fun photo opportunities. A robust social media campaign boosted the online reach of the event, connecting with alumni and friends around the world who follow and support Bryant.
“Giving Day is a fun and exciting time for everyone associated with Bryant, and such an important day for the University,” said Nora Marzocchi, Bryant Fund Director. It’s a time when the whole community rallies around creating new opportunities for students, and showing the world what it means to ‘Be Bryant.’”