Published 05/12/16

Endowed fund will help Bryant's Catholic students nurture their faith

When Siro DeGasperis ’57 was a business administration student at Bryant, the campus was located on the East Side of Providence. DeGasperis was a Catholic student from Schenectady, NY, and every Sunday he walked for blocks to attend Mass at a local parish. Recalling how much his faith meant to him – and realizing that today’s Catholic students might want additional opportunities to enhance their faith and spiritual development – he and his wife have established the Siro ’57 and Roberta DeGasperis Catholic Students Endowed Program Fund.

If students "take advantage of their faith ... they can find that God will help them too.”

Their $75,000 gift will support Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant’s Bold Future. Developing and sustaining new programs to enrich student learning is one of the pillars of the campaign. The program fund will support a multi-pronged approach to support Bryant’s Catholic students enrich their faith.

The gift will create a source of continuing funds to build and strengthen students’ leadership skills and character; provide student service learning opportunities to build a stronger community; and support educational programs or academic courses that focus on the teachings of the Church and Catholic faith.

The DeGasperis’ gift complements a $100,000 donation they made to name a community gathering room in the Ronald K. and Kati C. Machtley Interfaith Center. It also reflects a deep philanthropic commitment to their faith. They have funded construction of a Catholic church in Guatemala and sponsor a Catholic school there. They also have supported the church where Siro was baptized and parishes where they live in Palm Beach County, Florida.

DeGasperis enjoyed a 34-year career with United Parcel Service, retiring in 1993 as vice president for international and domestic public affairs. He credits his Bryant education and experience with building his confidence and cultivating his public speaking skills. “I relied on my faith and prayers to get me though some tight spots,” he notes. “If students take heed and take advantage of their faith and attend Mass, they can find that God will help them too.”

Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant’s Bold Future is the largest fundraising effort in Bryant’s history. The $75-million campaign will generate the resources the University needs to achieve the transformative goals of Bryant’s Vision 20/20 strategic plan and rise to new levels of excellence and national prominence.