Commencement 2021
Bryant University’s Commencement Weekend, May 20-May 23, is the culmination of the institution’s strong commitment to preserving the in-person campus experience.
Bryant University announces Commencement Weekend ceremonies welcoming '20 and '21 graduates and guests to campus
Apr 28, 2021, by Staff Writer

Smithfield, RI – Bryant University’s Commencement Weekend, May 20-May 23, is the culmination of the institution’s strong commitment to preserving the in-person campus experience. Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, Bryant has continuously adapted and maintained 94% residency without interruption to in-person classes.

Full details for Commencement Weekend 2021 are available here

Bryant will celebrate on campus and in person the accomplishments of Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 students and seven distinguished honorary degree recipients, including industry and higher education leaders and heroes on the front line of the pandemic.

“This year’s Commencement ceremonies are particularly meaningful for our graduates and the entire Bryant community."

“This year’s Commencement ceremonies are particularly meaningful for our graduates and the entire Bryant community,” said President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “We are very proud of the persistence and resilience of our graduates and the strong commitment of the faculty and staff to our students’ success. The entire Bryant community worked together to address challenges and demonstrated the leadership and character for which our institution is known.”

Bryant is the only college or university in Rhode Island to allow guests at Commencement ceremonies on campus this year. To reduce the size of individual events, Bryant Commencement Weekend 2021 includes four ceremonies:

  • Thursday, May 20, 5pm: Graduate Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2021, 260 graduates

  • Saturday, May 22, 10am and at 3pm:
    Two Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2021, 840 graduates

  • Sunday, May 23, 11am:
    Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2020, 1,039 graduates

Full details for Commencement Weekend 2021 are available here

Lisa Bisaccia, former Executive Vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer at CVS Health, will deliver the Graduate Commencement Address and receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree at the Graduate Commencement ceremony on May 20.

Dennis Coleman, JD, Senior Counsel at Ropes & Gray, who represents a wide variety of sports, media and entertainment clients including the National Football League and Boston Red Sox, will deliver the Commencement address at the May 22 morning ceremony. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree.

The Honorable Ronald K. Machtley will deliver the Commencement address on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday, May 23. Machtley served as Bryant’s eighth president for 24 years (1996-2020) and was one of the longest serving college or university presidents in the country. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree.

Also recognized with honorary degrees in recognition of outstanding career achievements and mission-driven contributions to the region and their fields are:

Paari Gopalakrishnan, MD, '09MBA, Chief Medical Officer at Care New England Kent Hospital, who led the effort to establish Rhode Island’s COVID field hospital in Cranston and will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the Graduate 2021 Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 20.

Rosanne Somerson, President of Rhode Island School of Design, who is an advocate for the arts and an accomplished leader building a creative learning environment with innovative integration of technical knowledge, design thinking and the arts. She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Organizational Leadership degree at the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Saturday morning, May 22.

Andrey Zarur, Ph.D., P ’24, Co-founder of GreenLight Biosciences, who is noted for developing advanced biological solutions for world challenges including pandemic response, sustainable food production and access to effective human health. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the Undergraduate Ceremony the afternoon of May 22.

Debra Paul '85, '94MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fellowship Health Resources, a not-for-profit behavioral healthcare organization supporting individuals across seven states in recovery from mental illness, co-occurring disorders and related chronic health conditions. She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Organizational Leadership degree at the May 23 Class of 2020 ceremony.

For 158 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. Located on a 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 leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual, and Barron'sVisit https://www.bryant.edu/

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