Published 06/07/16

Collaboration, communication skills put to the test in student-run Special Olympics

Brian Cadigan ’16 was walking through the Rotunda during his freshman year when something caught his eye.

“The place was decked out in red and white for the Special Olympics. All the volunteers were so passionate about it,” he recalls. “Right then and there, I decided it would be great to volunteer any way I could.”

Three years later, Cadigan was the event’s director, with responsibilities that included budgeting, public relations, and overseeing the 20 students who serve on the event’s committee.

This was the 36th year of Bryant hosting the Northern Rhode Island Special Olympics. More than 500 athletes, cheered on by more than 1,000 volunteers and spectators, participated in events that included track, softball throw and long jump. “We pretty much took over campus for an entire day,” he says.

Cadigan, a supply chain management and marketing double major, says the experience taught him “the importance of collaboration and communication,” skills essential as he starts his career this summer as a supply chain analyst at W.B. Mason in Boston.

“Not only did I work with my peers, but I worked with Bryant administration, the Smithfield fire and police departments, and the Special Olympics of Rhode Island,” Cadigan said. “It was a lot of work, but it was so rewarding.”

At Bryant, Cadigan says he developed a passion for helping others and being involved on campus. In addition to his duties with Special Olympics, he was co-chair of the Class of 2016, a member of the Senior Advisory Council, and is heavily involved with the Bryant Alumni Association.

“I think it’s a distinguishing feature of Bryant,” he says. “Everyone on campus is involved with something whether it’s a club or an event. Each person finds their own thing.”