Image of student in cap and gown applauding at commencement
Bryant University's 2023 commencement schedule, honorary degree recipients announced.
Bryant University announces 2023 Commencement speakers, honorary degree recipients
Mar 22, 2023, by Staff Writer

SMITHFIELD, RI ‑ Bryant University is ready to celebrate the Class of 2023. In addition to the 994 students who will receive their diplomas, Bryant will confer honorary degrees to four individuals who excel in their chosen fields, across three separate commencements.

Governor Daniel J. McKee will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration and give the undergraduate commencement address on May 20 at 10 a.m. Two Bryant alums, Carmen Sylvester ’89, President and CEO of Alltrust Credit Union, and William Piccerelli ’64, P’88, partner at Marcum, will also receive Honorary Doctorates in Business Administration at the commencement.

Bryant’s graduate degree ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 18 at 5 p.m. Bryant alum Alan Litwin ’87MST, Managing Director of KLR in Providence, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration and will speak at the commencement exercises.

The commencement for the Physician Assistant program marks an early start to the graduation season, with a ceremony on Saturday, March 25 at 10 a.m.

“Commencement is one of the most important and exciting times on our campus and we are honored that Governor McKee can join us to celebrate the achievements of the outstanding Class of 2023,” says Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “The ceremonies recognize significant milestones and achievement of graduates and strong accomplishments and contributions by honorary degree recipients.  We are particularly pleased to announce honorary diplomas conferred on alumni who are standouts in their fields. We congratulate the Class of 2023 for their hard work and dedication; we look forward to their future accomplishments and watching them do incredible things.”

Full details for Commencement 2023 are available at



Governor Daniel J. McKee is a lifelong Rhode Islander who proudly serves as the Ocean State’s 76th Governor. Born and raised in Cumberland, Governor McKee is the son of Helen Willa and James McKee, who founded the Boys Club in Cumberland in 1956, which Governor McKee later expanded to be known as the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Rhode Island.

After graduating from Cumberland High School and Assumption College in Worcester, Governor McKee began his career in public service on the Town Council in his hometown of Cumberland. After serving for eight years, he was elected Mayor. Following 12 years as Mayor of Cumberland, he left office in 2014 when he was selected Lieutenant Governor. He ascended to the Governor’s Office in 2021 and was re-elected to his first full term in office in 2022, winning via the largest margin of victory in a Rhode Island Governor’s race in over 30 years.

When Dan became Governor in March 2021, it was amidst the most challenging global pandemic in more than a century. Despite that, he delivered one of the nation’s best vaccine rollouts, getting shots in arms at rates that were among the very best in the country. His leadership also helped to rebuild Rhode Island’s struggling economy, bringing the state’s unemployment to its lowest ever on record. As Governor, he continues to focus on the same issues he has cared about his whole career – accessible government, effective fiscal management, a high-quality public education for all students, equity and justice, and economic development centered on small businesses.


William Piccerelli ’64, P’88 is an Advisory Services partner in Marcum’s Providence office. His extensive background covers technical financial accounting and tax matters, as well as general business dealings, succession issues for closely held businesses, business valuations and litigation support (often providing expert testimony), tax issues, and real estate development issues. Mr. Piccerelli works with individuals, partners, and owners of closely held businesses in the real estate and construction industries, and the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining Marcum, he co-founded Piccerelli, Gilstein & Company LLC, which merged into Marcum in 2022. Mr. Piccerelli’s goal for PG&Co was to create a sustainable, quality, independent CPA firm known for integrity and commitment to clients, an ethic that he brings to Marcum. Since 1973, he has made good on this commitment. He is an active and respected professional in the accounting profession.

Carmen F. Sylvester ’89 is President and Chief Executive Officer of Alltrust Credit Union, Fairhaven, MA. Carmen’s professional career spans over 30 years in the financial services industry. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Carmen has created an environment of collaboration and ensures that all team members’ voices are heard so that the vision, mission, and values of Alltrust are fulfilled. As Vice Chair on the Board of Directors of the Southcoast Health System, New Bedford, MA, Carmen serves on the Governance, Southcoast Physician Group, and Strategic Planning committees. She is also Chair of the CEO Search Committee. Carmen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Bryant University and holds a Human Resources Certification, including the Professional Human Resources (PHR) designation. She also studied at the Financial Management School at the University of Colorado and at Rockhurst University National Seminars.

Alan Litwin ’87MST began his career in public accounting in 1980 and is the co-founder of KLR, the 80th largest CPA firm in the U.S., where he works with many emerging businesses in financial and professional services, life sciences, healthcare and technology companies. Alan is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Vice Chair of the Board of Lifespan and serves on the Boards of LEA Global, the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council and the Federal Affairs Committee Member for the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. In the area of civic activity, Mr. Litwin was honored in 2015 with the Miriam Hospital Person of the Year Award. In 2014 he was honored with the Joseph Ress Community Service Award by the Jewish Alliance of RI as well as the Hassenfeld Community service award and Alperin Leadership award in previous years. In 2011 he was awarded the Wheeler School Board of Trustees Award.

About Bryant University

For 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education with top 1% outcomes that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The university delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, liberal arts, and health and behavioral sciences. 

Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a top 1% national leader in student education outcomes and ROI, and regularly receives high rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual and Barron’s.


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