When Artacky Berberian graduated on June 28 as a member of the Class of 1909, little did he know that his future would be replete with a life-long commitment to his alma mater that would extend into the next century. While building his company, Manufacturer’s Supply Company in Providence, RI, Berberian kept his ties to Bryant strong even hiring students including the hire in 1926 of future faculty member and Bryant President Nelson Gulski who joined Manufacturer’s Supply as a bookkeeper, truck driver and delivery man. Berberian is credited as one of the founding members of Bryant’s Alumni Association and for many years he served as head of Bryant’s “Old Guard,” graduates of Bryant who were 50 years or more since their graduation. In recognition of his success in business and his lifelong service and devotion to his alma mater, in 1973 Bryant awarded Berberian an Honorary Doctor of Science in Business Administration.
Born in Constantinople, Turkey and likely the first person of Armenian descent to graduate from Bryant, Berberian was a visionary when in 1982 he established a charitable remainder unitrust to benefit both his family and his beloved Bryant. This investment vehicle allowed Berberian to receive regular income from the trust for his lifetime. When he passed away in 1985 at the age of 92, the proceeds from the trust continued to be paid to Berberian’s wife, Elese, until her passing in 1998. Thereafter, the trust continued to provide income for their daughter, Doris, who received proceeds from the trust until her death in 2020. (Elese and Doris were predeceased by a son and brother, Aram, who passed away in 1990.) Upon the death of the last beneficiary of the trust, the remainder of the trust was split equally between Berberian’s grandchildren, his church and Bryant University. His gift to Bryant, more than 100 years after he graduated, was used to create the Artacky Berberian Endowed Scholarship Fund which will benefit students with financial need, with a preference given to students of Armenian descent. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time in fall 2022.
“Artacky Berberian’s generosity to Bryant was the result of his envisioning a plan where he could secure his family’s financial wellbeing while also including Bryant in his estate plans,” said Ed Magro, Executive Director of Development at Bryant. “The proceeds from his estate gift which were used to establish an endowed scholarship fund will support Bryant students for generations to come.”
Each year prior to his death, Berberian made gifts to the Bryant Fund at the Bryant Leadership Council Level (starting at $1,000). “Artacky’s consistent support of his alma mater, in addition to establishing his charitable reminder unitrust, is a testament to the gratitude that this Bryant graduate had for his alma mater,” said Magro.
Bryant’s staff is eager to talk with you about the ways that you can consider including Bryant in your estate planning. We can partner with you, your estate planning attorney and/or your financial advisor in helping you to determine the next steps that align with your personal financial goals. Please contact Ed Magro, Executive Director of Development, at 401-232-6528 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential, no-obligation conversation. For other gift planning ideas, visit plannedgiving.bryant.edu and start building your Bryant legacy today!