Published 05/21/16

Bryant graduates urged to seek success beyond career

Achieve success beyond a career was the message Clayton M. Christensen, D.B.A., shared with the 752 graduates of the Class of 2016 during Bryant University’s 153rd Commencement on May 21.

 Widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on innovation and the No. 1 management thinker in the world, Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and a best-selling author whose books include “How Will You Measure Your Life?” As an entrepreneur, he has started four different companies.

 “The career provides tangible and immediate evidence of achievement,” said Christensen, who also received an honorary doctorate of business administration during the ceremony. “But that’s different in the home… you need to implement a strategy for success to ensure happiness in the home.”

People are measured every day by “helping people become better”

Highlighting the importance of character in today’s society, Christensen said that people are measured every day by “helping people become better.”

 He noted, “It’s a wonderful profession to be parents, faculty, and managers, because in every one of these professions, we have opportunities to help the people we work with become better people.”

The University awarded three other honorary degrees during Commencement weekend:

  • Dr. Taoguang Wang, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Beijing Institute of Technology Zhuhai and an invaluable partner in the creation of Bryant Zhuhai, received an honorary doctorate of business administration.
  • Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg, J.D., received an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
  • J.L. “Lynn” Singleton, longtime president and CEO of the Providence Performing Arts Center, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters and was also the distinguished speaker during the Graduate Programs Commencement on May 19.

President Ronald K. Machtley noted that the Class of 2016 graduates were the first to benefit from Bryant’s nationally recognized Innovation and Design Experience for All (IDEA) program and participate in NCAA Division I athletics.

“I have seen this class have an unbelievable transformation from students wondering about their future to mature, sophisticated, and confident student leaders ready to go out and find their place in this world,” Machtley said.

 Andreas Armenis ’16 (Lynnfield, MA), who delivered the Student Charge, told his fellow graduates to align their passion with purpose and “consider today a defying milestone in a very long and blessed journey... what we all have achieved today as a unit is tremendous beyond belief.”

Before receiving her degree, Alexandria Paxman ’16 (Swanton, VT) said she had mixed feelings. 

“I am so happy to be graduating and happy to be walking under the Archway,” the iconic gate students first step through at Commencement. “But I’m sad because I’m going to miss this special place and these special people that I’ve met along the way.”

Earlier this week, Bryant awarded 110 degrees at the Graduate Programs' Commencement.  After receiving an honorary degree during the ceremony on May 19, Singleton addressed the graduates and their guests, telling them that "if you are persistent and consistent… you don’t have to be smarter than the next person, all you have to do is work harder.”