Capital Campaign raises record $111 million, funds dramatic transformation with unprecedented impact
Jan 13, 2020, by Staff Writer
Contact: Cecilia Cooper, Director of Public Relations, 401-232-6932

SMITHFIELD, RI – A decade ago, when Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley had already served nearly double the tenure of the average college president, Machtley and Bryant’s Board of Trustees conceived a bold vision to transform the school from a regional institution to a national university. In the wake of the 2008 recession, their strategic plan was ambitious, and achieving its goals would require unprecedented levels of philanthropy from the Bryant community. The plan evolved to an historic capital campaign, publicly launched in 2014, which would empower significant transformation for Bryant and future generations of students.

“Our capital campaign had some remarkable goals, and, with generous support from members of the Bryant community around the world, we have nailed them all.”

The final results are in. Bryant’s historic capital campaign, Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant’s Bold Future, ended December 31, 2019 and raised  $111 million – more than triple the goal of the previous campaign and surpassing both its initial goal of $75 million and the stretch goal of $100 million.

The generosity of more than 24,000 donors has made this campaign, the most comprehensive fundraising effort in Bryant’s 156-year history, a huge success with extraordinary impact. The campaign has provided crucial resources to advance key strategic objectives including:

  • Scholarships: Increased scholarship resources of $25 million, with 130 new scholarships that have boosted applications and enrollments to the highest level in Bryant history
  • Academic and teaching excellence: Thriving new academic programs in highly sought-after fields including Data Science, International Business, Global Supply Chain Management, and the Health Sciences
  • Facilities to inspire excellence: Award-winning new and reimagined facilities that build on academic excellence and inspire students to exceptional levels of academic and athletic achievement
  • Global initiatives: Cultivating a global perspective through cultural partnerships and expanded international programs including Study Abroad, the Sophomore International Experience, internships, and additional immersive learning experiences around the world.

“Ron Machtley has the ability to see around corners, the determination to achieve things that seem impossible to many, and a passion that inspires others to do the same."

Commenting on the outstanding success of the campaign that has fueled Machtley’s bold vision, former University Trustee and campaign vice chair Alan Hassenfeld ‘85H notes, “Ron Machtley has the ability to see around corners, the determination to achieve things that seem impossible to many, and a passion that inspires others to do the same. This huge accomplishment is the result of his bold strategic vision and leadership, and the collective efforts of a dedicated community. I am proud to give my financial support and proud to have my name be a part of Bryant’s transformation and the University’s positive impact in Rhode Island and around the world.”

In announcing the campaign’s successful conclusion, Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley, now in his 24th and final year of visionary leadership, said, “In the history of the nation’s great universities, there are defining moments—times when key accomplishments and strategic innovations reached critical mass and combined to create a catalyst that redefined the future and set a new pace for others to follow. This is that moment for Bryant.”

“Our capital campaign had some remarkable goals, and, with generous support from members of the Bryant community around the world, we have nailed them all. This campaign has taken Bryant to the next level and the campaign’s tremendous success ensures a continued trajectory of academic excellence, student success, growth, and enhanced reputation.”

According to William J. Conaty ’67, Chair of the Bryant University Board of Trustees and Campaign Co-chair, “It is exciting to realize that, even with all of these spectacular accomplishments, we are certain that Bryant’s best days are still ahead. Together, we’ve accomplished something very special. On behalf of generations of future students who will make a positive impact on the world now, and for decades into the future, thank you.”

Bryant trustee and Campaign Leadership Committee member Anne Szostak ‘02H said, One of Ron’s most impressive strengths is the ability to communicate with all Bryant constituents. That’s not easy. In fact, it’s quite complicated because everyone has a unique perspective and often different priorities. As a leader who genuinely cares about people, he has consistently and effectively coalesced multiple perspectives into a shared vision that has inspired the Bryant community and set the course for this era of transformation and the success of this campaign.”

Transformational impact through scholarships, greater academic excellence, an innovative learning environment for success, and global perspective

Campaign Summary graphic

The unprecedented success of Bryant’s capital campaign has had a transformational impact across every facet of the school including: $25 million in student scholarships, with 130 new annual and endowed scholarships established; nearly $18 million for academic programs and innovative teaching and learning initiatives; more than $14 million for facilities; almost $6 million for athletics; over $4 million for expanded global opportunities; $4 million for leadership programs; and $2 million for enhanced student life and diversity programs. With a focus on resources to build on Bryant’s academic excellence, approximately $31 million was generated in Bryant Fund annual giving, and an additional $7 million for various different university priorities and other initiatives. Of the total 24,000 campaign contributors, 63 percent (14,816) were new donors who had never-before given to Bryant.

More details can be found in the fact sheet below, or link to the fact sheet here.

For 157 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. Bryant delivers an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education that inspires students to excel. With approximately 3,700 graduate and undergraduate students from 38 states and 53 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, and Barron's. Visit

Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant’s Bold Future 



The impact of $25 million in new scholarships has helped to put a Bryant education within reach of those students who will benefit from it the most. More than 130 new annual and endowed
scholarship funds have been established through new campaign resources including a $4 million gift from campaign co-chair Michael E. Fisher ’67, ’15H and his wife, Karen; gifts from the estate of former Bryant College President Emeritus Dr. William T. O’Hara ’90H and his wife Bobbi; and a $1 million commitment from President Ronald K. Machtley and Kati C. Machtley ’17H, Director of the Bryant University Women’s Summit®. Boosted by these additional scholarships, applications to Bryant’s entering class of September 2019 were at an all-time high and represent talented and high-achieving students from across the country and around the world.

Contributions of nearly $18 million for Bryant’s nationally recognized academic programs and learning environment include a $2.5 million matching gift from the Warren Alpert Foundation
resulting in $5 million raised toward the School of Health Sciences; a commitment of $1 million from John ’01H and Jeanne Rowe to underwrite a new endowed Professor of Data Science position; more than $1 million to create an Accounting Innovation Fund; $.5 million for initiatives within the International Business and Global Supply Chain Management programs; and gifts from The Champlin Foundation and others to support state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces and tools including a new Data Visualization Lab, an enlarged lab for Psychology, expansion of the TV studio, and Bloomberg terminals.

More than $14 million in commitments for facilities has allowed the addition of more than 217,000 sq. ft. of award-winning new and enhanced spaces. Under the leadership of Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley, during the capital campaign the University launched Bryant Builds, the largest and most transformative facilities initiative since Bryant’s move from Providence to Smithfield nearly 50 years ago. Projects completed include the Quinlan/Brown Academic Innovation Center, an entirely new kind of facility for teaching and learning. The naming recognizes leadership philanthropy by alumnus Robert ’86 and his wife, Kathleen Brown, P ’19 and honors the legacy of commitment to education forged by three generations of the Brown family. This nationally recognized building, which includes spaces named for Rhode Island philanthropists the Murray Family Foundation and the Janikies family, in honor of Nicholas Janikies’57, ’86H, The Murray Family Charitable Foundation Admission Presentation Room and The Janikies Family Innovation Forum, respectively; as well as named classrooms; has galvanized Bryant’s commitment to academic excellence and innovation.The completely re-imagined Michael E. ’67 and Karen L. Fisher Student Center has created a welcoming three-story, 56,000 sq. ft. campus “living room” that enhances Bryant’s distinctive residential experience. Bryant’s new School of Health Sciences is based in the 11,000 sq. ft. Physician Assistant Learning Center, a contemporary wing added to the University’s landmark Unistructure. The David M. ’85 and Terry Beirne Stadium Complex, including the 4,400-seat Bulldog Stadium and 10,000 sq. ft. Bulldog Strength & Conditioning Center; adjacent state-of-the-art turf field and lighting; the William ’67 and Sue Conaty Park baseball and softball complex; the 80,000 sq. ft. Conaty Indoor Athletic Center, the largest facility of its kind in New England; and a new Sports Medicine and Training Center within the Elizabeth and Malcolm Chace Wellness and Athletic Center together provide Bryant’s student-athletes with an environment that inspires them to succeed at the highest level of collegiate athletics. Bryant’s Residence Hall Renaissance, including recent renovations to Bristol House that include a special Living Learning Leadership Center for women students, and plans to renovate Warren House in summer 2020, will have a significant positive impact on the university’s suite-style residence hall village.

Flexible, unrestricted commitments to the Bryant Fund totaling $31 million in Bryant’s capital campaign include a $7.5 million pledge from an anonymous Bryant alumnus, the largest single commitment ever received from an individual in Bryant history, which is among five commitments of $5 million or more to the campaign. Additional leadership gifts include $2.1 million from Ralph R. Papitto ’47, ’87H and Barbara A. Papitto ’83, ’85 MBA, ’97H and the Papitto Foundation, and have gone to areas where they are needed most, with an emphasis on support for academic initiatives including: new Academic Excellence funds provided to the Deans of both the College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences; the first-year Gateway Experience and the Innovation and Design Experience for All (IDEA) program; technology enhancements including 3D printers and robots; spaces including a new studio arts class room; travel opportunities for students in the Bryant Honors program; resources for the Professional MBA Graduate School online initiative; support for new classes including Fixed Income and Digital Marketing courses; faculty development and innovation resources; executives-in-residence, and visiting keynote speakers.

Charitable campaign contributions support Bryant’s mission as a leader in education, including $3.1 million in capital campaign commitments from former trustee Alan Hassenfeld ’85H and
the Hassenfeld Family Initiatives LLC for the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership; and a $1 million anonymous gift from a Bryant alumna for expanded women’s leadership initiatives.

Nearly $6 million has been raised for enriched student life and learning opportunities, including gifts of $1.3 million from PwC to support diversity initiatives and the Accounting Careers Leadership Program; key contributions toward Campus Ministry programs including the Hillel program and Jewish life, Christian Campus Ministry, and the Catholic Students Program Fund; funds to expand the programs of Bryant’s Amica Center for Career Education; and establishment of the Richard and Bonnie Leto Nutrition and Health Education Endowed Fund.

Bryant’s capital campaign has generated expanded resources of $4.4 million for global initiatives, including funds to support Bryant’s Sophomore International Experience and other study abroad opportunities; and funds to support academic, business, and cultural partnerships between Bryant University and higher learning institutions and cultural programs in China.

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