Bryant University. Since 1863.
The expansion of business enterprises in the United States during the second half of the nineteenth century created unprecedented job growth. Bryant founders Henry Bryant and Henry Stratton recognized that workers, particularly Civil War veterans, interested in new job opportunities would need a business education. The two men founded Bryant and Stratton National Business College, which grew to 40 locations altogether, including the campus in Providence, R.I., in 1863. Ezra Mason, a Rhode Island accountant, was also a founding partner, and he managed the college.
>> Bryant's Charter (Jan. 14, 1863)
Women at Bryant
From the beginning, Mason wanted to inspire women to attend college. In 1865, he declared, "We have had the privilege of according diplomas to young ladies whose thorough attainments in all the requisites of accountantship would put to blush the pretensions of many a bearded competitor for like honors." Female students remained a minority for the next decade, but the college continued to actively recruit and attract women.
Business curriculum expanded to include the arts and sciences
William Warner, who purchased the college from Mason in 1867 expanded the curriculum to include courses in the arts, humanities, and sciences including philosophy, history, languages, photography, sculpture, engineering, higher mathematics, hydraulics, and mechanics. Maximillian Berlitz was in charge of languages and later went on to build his empire of Berlitz Schools.