On February 8, Bryant University students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends of the community will come together both on campus and virtually to celebrate the school’s 160th anniversary and share their Bryant stories.
The in-person celebration, which will run from noon until 5 p.m. in the university’s Michael E. '67 and Karen L. Fisher Student Center, includes a Bryant gear giveaway and a food truck festival, complete with a commemorative three-foot ice sculpture. A timeline mural will decorate a wall of the university’s Fisher Center and an exhibit in the George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology, open all day, will display artifacts from Bryant’s history.
The event was organized by Bryant students Andrew Hinckley ’23, Liam Fluharty ’23, and Danielle Latty ’24 who, as Student Affairs Fellows, liaise with Vice President of Student Affairs Inge-Lise Ameer to provide a student’s-eye perspective on the university for the Bryant administration. When the group suggested an anniversary party that would bring together the entire Bryant community, they quickly found support as university departments, student-organizations, and other groups all joined them in making preparations.
The Fellows admit that 160 years isn’t exactly a common milestone to acknowledge, but they argue that anytime is a good time to appreciate their school. “We didn’t want anyone to have to wait another 40 years to celebrate Bryant and its history,” says Latty.
Seeing Bryant united in a single cause is a powerful thing, says Hinckley. “Everyone’s involved in the event in some way,” he observes. “It’s really a tribute to how everyone on this campus can come together, especially when it’s in support of a student-driven idea.”
To learn more about Bryant’s past, the organizers worked with the university’s Krupp Library staff, who helped them delve into the school’s rich history, from its founding as Bryant & Stratton National Business College to the present day. The more they learned about Bryant’s path, the more they came to appreciate their university. “It’s amazing to look back and actually see things like the school’s original charter from 1863,” says Hinckley. “You realize: It all came from that.”
The event also offers a chance for students, faculty, and staff to understand the origins of our traditions and the connections that have brought together so many generations of the Bryant community, adds Latty.
“All of us here throughout Bryant’s history come from so many different backgrounds and ethnicities and cultures,” she says. “But at the end of the day, we're all Bryant Bulldogs, which I think is something to celebrate.”
That celebration doesn’t have to stop with the anniversary, the Fellows point out. Fluharty notes that with Bryant’s transformative Vision 2030 strategic plan in full swing, it’s a great time to remember the school’s past as it prepares for an even brighter future. “An event like this shows how far Bryant has come since 1863 and how much more we can do from this point on. We don’t just have 160 years of history; we’re making history now.”
For more information about the event, click here. If you'd like to share a favorite Bryant memory on social media, use the #Bryant160 hashtag.
To learn more about Bryant’s history, visit bryant.edu/about-bryant/bryant-history-and-traditions.