Published 10/21/13

Sesquicentennial Gala supports Presidential Scholarship Fund

Rosecliff Sesquicentennial Gala Rosecliff, one of the Gilded Age mansions in Newport, R.I., and the setting for films such as “The Great Gatsby” and “Amistad,” provided a magnificent venue for Bryant’s Sesquicentennial Gala on Oct. 12. The black tie event, a highlight of the University’s 150 th anniversary celebration, generated significant support for the Bryant University Presidential Scholarship Fund.

The Bryant Chamber Ensemble entertained as more than 200 alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the University mingled in Rosecliff's salon. In the grand ballroom, guests dined and danced to the sounds of the Mac Chrupcala Orchestra.

Guests included Bryant trustees and board chairs, current and emeriti; alumni, faculty, and staff; and the very generous individuals and corporations without whom the event would not have been possible. Among them were Trustee John (Jack) Renza Jr. ’70, his wife, Marianne, and mother, Marie (Teigue) Renza ’43; National Alumni Council President Dustin Goldstein ’95 and past president Jennifer Parkhurst ’97, ’06 MBA; Professors Judy Barrett Litoff, Joseph Ilacqua, and Mary Lyons, who cumulatively have served Bryant for 126 years; and Champions for Philanthropy David ’61 and Barbara Allardice, Robert P. ’72 and Jane Mead; and Gordon and Ursula Riblet, parents of Marc ’97.

All guests heard firsthand from two students about the impact of Presidential Scholarships.

Rosecliff Sesquicentennial Gala guestsMarissa Cohen, a junior accounting major, was thrilled to learn that she was a scholarship recipient. She had wanted to attend a private university but was averse to amassing student loan debt. Before enrolling, Cohen attended a number of events to learn more about Bryant, including a reception at President and Mrs. Ronald K. Machtley’s campus residence. “Other universities sent me information about their schools, but Bryant went out of its way to make me feel that they genuinely wanted me to attend,” she said.

Cohen has taken full advantage of many opportunities at Bryant including serving as team manager for a Management 200 service learning project. She led her group in their effort to increase awareness through social media for Khadarlis, an international nonprofit organization based in Providence that assists communities devastated by civil war in Sierra Leone.

Junior Actuarial Mathematics major Andrew DiFronzo is also making the most of his Bryant experience. He assuming three leadership positions, and recently was one of four students selected to attend the inaugural student program at the Casualty Loss Reserve Seminar in Boston, an experience he says he will always value.

“Because of my Presidential Scholarship, I have become part of an amazing community that takes enormous pride in Bryant University,” he says. “I could not be any more appreciative.”

Event donors who provided support for the Bryant University Presidential Scholarship Fund include, in part:

  • Platinum sponsors: Amica Insurance; Coca-Cola Refreshments USA; Follett Higher Education Group
  • Gold sponsor: Bob ’73 and Jane Mead; Santander
  • Silver sponsors: BankRI; Cranston Print Works Company; Delta Dental of Rhode Island; Fidelity Investments; FM Global; PwC; Shawmut Design and Construction; Sodexo Education – Campus; Anne ’02H and Michael Szostak; The Washington Trust Company