Published 04/24/13

Bryant's Archway tradition

Students Walking Around Archway

First-time visitors to Bryant's campus often notice students going to extreme measures at times to avoid walking through the Archway.

Bryant’s signature cast-iron Archway is an icon bridging the former campus in Providence to the university you see today. The Archway was relocated to Smithfield in 1971, the senior class gift of the Class of 1968.

Tradition dictates that to pass through the Archway before commencement is bad luck. Legend is that students who walk through the Archway before commencement will not graduate – though no data has proven the authenticity of this legend.

Years of detouring students wore deep ruts into the ground. The Class of 1987 built upon the generous gift of the Class of 1968 by funded walkways for the Archway. These were greatly appreciated, serving the campus community for more than two decades.

When members of the Class of 2008 contemplated their senior class gift, they knew they wanted to fund a project that would have considerable impact on current and future students. They decided to restore the Archway to its original condition, raising more than $30,000 for the project.

The Archway was refurbished by DeAngelis Iron Work in South Easton, Massachusetts. The gate was removed shortly after Commencement in 2008 and was disassembled, sandblasted, painted, and reassembled. Expanded brick walkways and new landscaping completed the project.

The Archway stands as Bryant’s most enduring symbol – a frequently photographed backdrop for prospective students, visitors, and returning alumni.

For our graduating seniors, stepping through the Archway on the way to Commencement ceremonies signifies a symbolic first step into the next exciting chapter in their lives.