First pitch at Conaty Park
SMITHFIELD, R.I. (May 1, 2012) - With a windup and a pitch, Bill Conaty '67 helped Bryant University officially dedicate Conaty Park, the University's new baseball and softball complex named for Conaty, a University Trustee, and his wife, Sue.
The ceremonial first pitch took place Saturday, April 28, before the men's baseball team took on Northeast Conference opponent Fairleigh Dickinson.
A $1.3 million donation from the Conatys, of Sunapee, N.H., and North Palm Beach, Fla., has helped transform the Bryant baseball and softball complex into a first-class Division I stadium that is arguably the best in New England, offering bleacher seating for 500, including 200 chair-back seats, and a state-of-the-art press box.
"We are so appreciative of Bill Conaty's support of his alma mater," Director of Athletics Bill Smith said earlier this year, when upgrades to the facility began. "The renovations to our baseball and softball complex enrich our facilities and our program, not only for our student-athletes and coaches, but for our fans as well, who will finally be able to enjoy the comforts of a stadium as they come out to enjoy another successful Division I baseball season."
Since the complex opened for the season in March 2012, average attendance has nearly tripled from the 2011 season, with a handful of home dates yet to be played.
Conaty, who served as captain of Bryant's 1967 baseball team and was recognized with the school's 1999 Distinguished Alumni Award, is a member of Bryant's 1863 Society.
He is retired from the position of senior vice president for human resources at General Electric, a company he first joined upon graduating from Bryant in 1967. Over the course of a distinguished 40-year career, he moved through a steady progression of leadership roles in the company's transportation, aerospace and aircraft engine businesses. As the human resources leader for GE employees worldwide, Conaty was widely acclaimed for his track record of innovation. He was the architect behind many of GE's frequently cited HR practices in the areas of workforce differentiation and succession planning, and served as a role model for others in turning HR organizations into strategic business partners.
Conaty served as chairman of both the National Academy of Human Resources and the HR Policy Association, and continues to serve on the advisory board of Cornell University's Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies. He is co-author of The Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers , published in 2010. Among many other activities, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and has been lauded as "one of the most highly respected people in his field and a true business leader" by Goodyear Chairman and CEO Richard J. Kramer.