Bryant University recently welcomed the 835 students of Bryant’s Class of 2024 to campus. Through a virtual welcome held by Zoom and followed by festive activities outdoors, the August 21 event marked the beginning of the class's collegiate journey – and celebrated everything they had already accomplished. Selected from more than 7,500 applicants, the second largest applicant pool in Bryant history, they earned their admission through their academic accomplishments, commitment to leadership, good works, and strength of character.
“You are among the most talented and highly qualified students ever to enroll at Bryant, and I hope that you and your families are proud of all that you have accomplished on your journey here,” Ross Gittell, Ph.D., President of Bryant University, told the class. “We know that your class is destined to be historic in many ways, and one of the things that I am most proud of about Bryant University is its proven track record of preparing students to succeed.”
The Bryant community
Bryant’s first-year students come to the University’s Smithfield, RI, campus from around the world. The class includes citizens from 28 different states, five continents and 16 different countries including India, Sweden, Ecuador, Canada and Egypt. Combined, they speak 28 different languages and dialects and nine students are fluent in more than three languages. International students make up about 5 percent of the Class and 20 percent identify with African American, Latino American or Asian American backgrounds, the largest percentage of students of color in Bryant history. Their varied interests extend across a range of fields and majors.
Together, they join a community that thrives on the exchange of ideas and collaborative success. With their first week on campus amid new challenges and traditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the students – the next generation of Bryant Bulldogs – began to form bonds with their peers that will help them to excel in both college and beyond. "To enter Bryant University is to become a member of a community, and membership in this community is a privilege, and an opportunity,” stated Inge-Lise Ameer, Ed.D., Vice President of Student Affairs as she shared with students the Bryant Pledge. “Participating in and supporting this community is a responsibility we all share."
"We feel fortunate to be able to participate in your growth and development throughout your time here and we are excited to be a part of your lives.”
The Class of 2024 was selected from one of the largest and most academically talented applicant pools in the University’s 158-year history. The class boasted an average GPA of 3.43 and an average SAT score of 1206. Over the course of their Bryant careers, the University’s world-class faculty will help these high achievers reach even greater heights, said Glenn M. Sulmasy J.D., LL.M., Bryant’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer. "At Bryant we are never happy with the status quo, we're always striving to be better. You all are now part of that tradition."
The class’s accomplishments, however, extend beyond their academic work. “Each of you brings something unique to Bryant,” noted Michelle L. Cloutier, Vice President for Enrollment Management, in her address to the class. “Your many great qualities will enrich our campus and the world around us. We feel fortunate to be able to participate in your growth and development throughout your time here and we are excited to be a part of your lives.”
Making their mark
The students have distinguished themselves in a variety of ways, from serving as a financial analyst for their high school’s student-managed investment fund, to conducting medical research alongside professional clinicians, to founding their own companies. A class of leaders, 94 members served in student government, and 18 served as Class Presidents. Five-hundred thirty-five members of the class already have already begun to make their mark on the working world with after-school jobs and entrepreneurial ventures.
Seven-hundred thirty members of the class played a sport in high school, where they learned the value of dedication, passion, and grit. Four-hundred and seven of them played more than one sport. Two-hundred forty-five honed their leadership skills as captain of a team. Many have also exhibited talents in art, music, theater, and dance.
Most significantly, the students of the Class of 2024 have already shown their passion to make the world a better place – a passion their time at Bryant will help them hone. More than 70 percent of the class lent their time and talents to helping those in need during their high school careers. Whether through volunteering at hospitals and food pantries, raising money for worthy causes, or starting their own outreach programs, these students have established themselves as citizens of character, eager to do even more.