Academic Innovation Center opens to online acclaim
The Academic Innovation Center opened with little fanfare in early September but the Bryant community made up for the quiet launch with a grand opening on Friday, Sept. 23, featuring Bryant leaders, students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the Board of Trustees and Rhode Island's congressional delegation, state government dignitaries, architects, and a ribbon long enough for more than 60 guests to participate in its cutting.
"There is nothing like it in the world," said President Ronald K. Machtley in describing a facility that offers "a new dimension in teaching" and a legacy of "students who will leave Bryant and become innovators."
Messages shared via social media reflected the excitement of the day.
Trustee Professor of Management Michael A. Roberto, D.B.A., Director of the Center for Program Innovation and chairman of the Faculty Building Committee, tweeted:
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, who during the ceremony called the Academic Innovation Center "the recipe for success for the future," afterward tweeted:
Congressman David Cicilline also addressed the guests:
AIC a "defining symbol" of Bryant role as "trailblazer" and its mission to educate leaders, @davidcicilline says at opening.— Bryant University (@BryantUniv) September 23, 2016
Congressman Jim Langevin, who was unable to attend, extended his good wishes:
Congratulations @BryantUniv on the grand opening of your Academic Innovation Center this afternoon!— Jim Langevin (@jimlangevin) September 23, 2016
Students have shared their enthusiasm for the new educational facility since opening day. In her blog post headlined "The Benefits of the Academic Innovation Center," Mikayla Ott '17, a marketing major from North Andover, MA, noted that the AIC classrooms and the teaching styles they support "allow for deeper learning."
Her reaction comes as no surprise to Professor Roberto. "Environment shapes learning, so when you change the environment, things change," he said before the opening ceremony. "You don’t have to tell people what to do or how to do it. Just create the right space, and let ‘em play.”