Published 01/22/16

Paying it forward with support for new AIC

Jeffrey and Kimberly FryerIt was the man on the bike. The man on the bike kept bringing Jeffrey Fryer ’91 back to campus. The man on the bike guided Fryer to an MST on his path to a CPA and a career in tax, all while remaining an avid training partner along the way.

Fryer (left) was a devoted bike racer and his relationship with Professor of Accounting Michael Lynch, J.D., C.P.A., was founded on this shared passion. When Fryer speaks of Bryant today, he thinks of the friend, mentor, and training partner he had in Lynch. “He was never just my professor,” says Fryer. “Our relationship was more about the personal connection we had and his commitment in mentoring me.” This multifaceted relationship paid huge dividends for Fryer. Lynch steered him through graduate school and into a career that has led to his position as Vice President and Chief Tax Officer at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a global biotechnology company developing treatments for devastating and rare diseases. “It is as clear as glass,” says Fryer. “There’s no way I would be where I am today without him.”

“Lecture is not the way students are learning anymore."

Kimberly (Roy) Fryer ’92 (above right) also built a career on the Bryant experience, working for 17 years before stepping down from Wachovia, now Wells Fargo. Kim and Jeff found their career paths and each other at Bryant. Both were driven to work hard to ensure that the sacrifices their parents made to send them to college would pay off. Today, they are giving that same opportunity to their oldest son, Ryan Fryer ’19.

As alumni and parents, the Fryers have remained dedicated Bryant community members, and one facet of that has been advancing the University’s growth. They have supported a classroom and multiple, flexible breakout spaces in the Academic Innovation Center. The cutting-edge meeting spaces in the Innovation Center would not be possible without such philanthropic support.

The Fryers see the goals of the Innovation Center as essential to the future of higher education. “Lecture is not the way students are learning anymore,” says Jeff. “Education is evolving. It needs to be a combination of lecture, hands-on project-based experience, and frequent interaction, not only between the students and professor, but among students.”

Forward-looking new buildings will allow Bryant to adapt to rapidly changing technology and education methodologies for years to come. Through their involvement in and financial support of schools from elementary to post-secondary, the Fryers are acutely aware of this need. “Everything has changed,” says Kim. “It’s so important today for students to have access to state-of-the-art technology and have these experiences to give them an advantage. And it’s important for us to do something like this for them.”

The Fryers have designated the new spaces in the Academic Innovation Center in honor of their parents and of the friend and mentor who was so central to Jeff’s Bryant experience, Professor Lynch. As they acknowledge the people who got them where they are today, this alumni couple makes the future bright