Bryant University is a private university, located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, U.S., that grants the degrees of bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and master's degrees in business, taxation and accounting. Until August 2004, it was known as Bryant College. Bryant comprises the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business, and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the AACSB International.
Bryant University was founded in 1863 as a branch of Bryant and Stratton, a national school which originally taught bookkeeping and methods of business communication and was named after founders, John Collins Bryant and Henry Beadman Bryant. In 1916, the Rhode Island branch was sold and merged with the Rhode Island Commercial School. Bryant became non-profit in 1949 and offered its first master's program in 1969. Bryant was originally located in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, but in 1971 moved to its current campus in Smithfield, Rhode Island, when the founder of Tupperware, Earl Silas Tupper, a Bryant alumnus, donated the current 428 acres (1.73 km2) of land to be the new campus. The old Emin Homestead and Captain Joseph Mowry homestead occupied much of the land that makes up the present day Smithfield campus. The land was purchased and farmed for three generations between the late 19th century and the mid-20th century. Today, many descendants of the original Emin settlers still live near the Bryant campus. The school also claims a handful of family members as alumni and offers a scholarship for accounting students as a tribute to the Emin family. Historical pictures of the Emin Homestead can still be found in the Alumni house. 
Students at Bryant have a particular way of symbolizing the completion of their education: walking through the archway. The story of the archway dates back to 1875. Isaac Gifford Ladd, an associate of Charles M. Schwab and a famous U.S. steel tycoon, constructed a one million dollar building which contained the iron arch on Young Orchard Avenue on the east side of Providence. This building was meant to be a sign of his endearment to his newlywed wife.
However, his wife expressed hatred for the structure which was named after her. He took this as a personal rejection, and Ladd later took his own life. The building remained unoccupied until Thomas Marsden transformed it into Hope Hospital, which was part of Bryant College. To provide more space for classes, an addition was constructed and Hope Hospital was renamed South Hall. In October 1967, Earl S. Tupper, alumnus and inventor of Tupperware, donated his 428-acre (1.73 km2) hillside estate to Bryant College for the creation of the new campus. To thank Tupper for his generous gift, Bryant named the campus after him and awarded him a second degree, an honorary Ph.D. in Humane Letters. Four year later, in the fall of 1971, the campus moved to Smithfield. Prior to leaving the Hope Street campus, the wrought-iron arch at the entrance to South Hall was transported to the new campus.
Today, the archway remains the only physical link to the Providence campus. After the archway was transferred from the old campus, students immediately began to avoid passing through this out-of-place structure. As a rumor had it, walking through the archway before graduation mysteriously jeopardized chances of graduating. Since this is quite a large price to pay for not following tradition, most students opted not to take the chance, which has resulted in worn paths around the arch. This tradition has shaped the behavior of thousands of Bryant University students on Tupper campus for the past 30 years, and has become a focal point in the legend and mystique of Bryant.
The Bryant Seal represents the educational mission of the university and its worldwide implications. The central symbol is an ellipsoid globe with quills on each side to signify the traditional emblem of communication in business. In the center, behind the globe, is a torch symbolizing liberty, the spirit of free inquiry, academic freedom, and learning. The Archway, forming the background for the globe, torch, and quills, is a University landmark affectionately and superstitiously by Bryant alumni. The Latin motto expresses the purpose of the University: "Cognitio. Virtus. Successus." – Which means Knowledge. Character. Success. The original Latin motto has remained unchanged and has been translated into the university's current day motto which is The Character of Success.
Ronald K. Machtley is the seventh president of Bryant University. The president is the chief executive officer of the college and is responsible for the success of the college's mission in providing superior academic programs and research.
Bryant continued to grow after the move to Smithfield, but began to face serious problems starting in the early 1990s. Nationwide, the number of students applying to college had dropped precipitously, and Bryant was no exception. Applications and interest in the college were way down and enrollment had dropped to below 2,000 students. Three of the school's 16 dormitories sat empty; two were converted to administrative use. Although the campus was clean and well-maintained, Bryant's facilities needed upgrading. Bryant wrote its accounts with red ink throughout the early part of the decade, and at its worst, the school had a $1.7 million budget deficit.
Ronald K. Machtley, a former Navy captain and U.S. Representative was hired as the new president in 1996. When Machtley arrived he immediately began working with faculty, students and the Board of Trustees to ensure the future of Bryant. He announced an ambitious capital campaign and to build new facilities and upgrade old ones. Under the Machtley administration, Bryant has built a new library, athletic center, communications and IT complex, residence hall, interfaith center, upgraded all athletic fields, and completely renovated the main classroom building and the student union. The school also changed its name to Bryant University in 2004. Its selectivity has increased, and the days of budget deficits are gone. The university endowment in 2007 totaled $171 million, a net increase of $169 million in just 10 years.
In 2008, Bryant had two very special visitors. On Thursday, February 28, 2008, former U.S. President Bill Clinton campaigned at Bryant University in support of Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. This was the first time in the school's history that either a former U.S. president or presidential candidate came to Bryant University to give a speech. Also in 2008, the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush gave the 2008 Commencement Address on May 17, 2008. Bush received an honorary degree from the University. Within only three months of each other, Bryant had two of the only four former U.S Presidents still living come to speak on campus.
Often considered the cornerstone of the $150 million campus expansion plan is the 71,000-square-foot (6,600 m2) George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology. The college library, which was located in the Unistructure, now occupies a major portion of the Bello Center space.
The George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology was designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, a firm in New York City that has been nationally recognized for its design of the Science, Industry, & Business Library (SIBL) for the New York Public Library.
The Unistructure is the center of Bryant's academic activity. It currently contains nearly all classrooms, most faculty and administrative offices, and many academic resources. These include multi-platform computerized classrooms complete with Internet stations and the Language/Learning Lab.
The function of the Bryant Center, as part of the educational program of the college, is to provide an atmosphere that fosters personal as well as professional growth by offering services that the college community needs. It is the unifying force of the college that integrates business education with leadership opportunities, and promotes the social and cultural development of students and other members of the college community.
The Koffler Technology Center is Bryant's computer center. More than 200 terminals, microcomputers, and workstations are located here. Facilities offer individual workstations for hands-on learning and shared workstations for group projects.
The Koffler center is also home to the universities TV and Radio stations. WJMF takes up most of the main floor, sharing space with the TV/Editing studio.
The building was named after the late Rhode Island Senator John Chafee. The Center serves the regional business community, as well as offering hands on opportunities for students to learn about global business. The Chafee Center houses the World Trade Center and Export Assistance Center for the state of Rhode Island.
This quadrangle, tucked between Bryant's academic and recreational facilities, was designed to facilitate an easy flow of pedestrian traffic around campus. Hassenfeld Common is the space from which other key components of the overall campus expansion plan - The George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology, the Chace Wellness Center, and the Interfaith Center - are anchored.
The Suite Village is a collection of fourteen residence halls with thirteen of them housing 90 students. The last and the newest, hall seventeen, houses approximately 200 students. Every suite has three double bedrooms, a living area and private bathroom with multiple stalls and showers. Each of the four floors has four suites, with each suite separated by gender.
In order to ease the transition into college life, first year students are housed together. These two halls – entirely reserved for first year students – are four story, co-educational halls with north and south wings.
The new Interfaith Center opened at the start of the 2009-2010 academic year to replace the previous chapel in the Bryant Center. Located between the Bryant Center and the George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology, it is a 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) non-denominational place of worship and reflection for all members of the campus community. The center, designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, a firm in New York City that has been nationally recognized for its work, has received two design awards: a 2010 Honor Design Award from Faith & Form magazine/The Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture, and a Building of America Award from Construction Communications magazine for the center's use of sustainable materials.
On October 9, 2010, the Board of Trustees honored President Ronald K. Machtley and his wife Kati C. Machtley by dedicating the Interfaith Center in their names. Typically, naming a building after a sitting president and his wife is not a traditional step at Bryant, but the Board unanimously voted to honor the Machtley's nearly 15 years of service to the university.
Established in March 2005, the U.S.-China Institute provides students and faculty with broad global perspectives and experiences and offers China-related services to businesses and communities. The Confucius Institute was established in October 2006 to further promote U.S.-China exchanges for K-12 schools and communities in New England.
Salmanson Dining room was named after Leonard I. Salmanson in 1973. Prior to this time, it was said that Salmanson made one donation which was one of the largest Bryant had ever received up until this time. Bryant awarded Salmanson an honorary degree of Doctor of Science of Business Administration in 1972 and he became a Bryant trustee in 1974.
Bryant residence life guarantees housing for all four years, although off-campus housing is a growing trend. Bryant also has a strict drug policy, which involves the Smithfield Police Department in all cases of violations. In 2010 Smithfield Police were able to arrest 34 Bryant students for possession of marijuana. This placed the school at number 4 on The Daily Beast's 2011 list of druggiest colleges. In 2010 the school placed at number 2 on the list. In response to the Daily Beast's article, the University released the following statement: "Bryant University unequivocally rejects the characterization of The Daily Beast and is confident that an appraisal of the facts will reveal that its representations are without foundation. Moreover, we believe that the badly flawed methodology employed by The Daily Beast has penalized the University for its actions in supporting the strict enforcement of the drug laws of the State of Rhode Island. Without exception, Bryant refers all illegal use to appropriate law enforcement authorities; many institutions do not do so."
Bryant University is divided into two colleges: the College of Business, and the College of Arts and Sciences with most students enrolled in a business discipline. In addition to the undergraduate program, Bryant also awards MBA degrees and Masters degrees in Taxation and Professional Accountancy.
Bryant's average student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1 with most classes having no more than 30 students. Bryant has also earned an ever improving reputation in recent years, and has been commended on a variety of points.
For the 2010-2011 academic year, Bryant's tuition is $32,616 and room and board is $13,486 which bring total costs to approximately $46,102 for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Bryant has 22 intercollegiate varsity athletics and participates in NCAA Division I as a member of the Northeast Conference. Athletic squads are called the Bulldogs. In addition, students can compete in various club sports and on intramural teams throughout the academic year.
The school's basketball team reached the NCAA Division II Championship Game against Virginia Union in 2005, and has not only made the NCAA Division II tournament, but made it to at least the Sweet Sixteen the past four years. The baseball team reached the Division II College World Series in 2004, and has hosted the Division II College World Series regionals.
The Football team for the first time in school history reached the NCAA Tournament in 2006, losing in the Regionals 31-29 to West Chester University. The 2006-2007 was the best season to date in the program's short history. The following season (2007–2008) the team had an even more successful year. It won the NE-10 outright, starting the season with a seven game winning streak.
Athletics have been very successful over the past four years. Bryant Athletics won the Northeast-10 Conference's Presidents' Cup in 2004, 2005, and 2007. Bryant lost the Presidents' Cup by only one point in 2006 to Stonehill College.
Bryant University's 22 varsity athletics are broken down into 11 athletic sports for men and 11 for women. The men's teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, American football, golf, lacrosse, indoor and outdoor track and field, tennis, soccer, and swimming and diving. The women's teams consist of basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, indoor and outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball.
Bryant also offers sports at the club level. They offer 20 club level sports teams, and just like varsity athletics they are broken down evenly into 10 for men and 10 for women. The men's club sports are: bowling, hockey, karate, racquetball, crew, rugby, skiing and snowboarding, ultimate frisbee, wrestling, and volleyball. The women's club sports include bowling, cheerleading, gymnastics, hockey, karate, ice skating, racquetball, rugby, skiing and snowboarding, and dance.
In the summer of 2007 the University made a public announcement that it had filed paperwork to begin the transition to Division I athletics. At that point the university was looking at four possible conferences to call home once the transition was complete: the Patriot League, America East Conference, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and the Northeast Conference. On Thursday, October 18, 2007, Bryant announced it would join the Northeast Conference, and will become a full member in 2012.
Bryant University has a growing Greek Life on campus, with two of the oldest chapters dating to 1944. Currently, there are five fraternities and four sororities. While Bryant does not allow Greek housing, Residence Hall 1 is made up of only Greek Life.
85 percent of students reside on campus, with living options ranging from traditional dormitories to suites to townhouse apartments. The university has five fraternities and four sororities, and approximately eleven percent of students belong to these organizations. A total of 76 percent of students are involved in extra-curriculars, and most work in internships or co-ops before graduating.
As of the 2007-2008 school year:
Bryant University has over 39,000 active and donating alumni.