Published 09/27/13

Bryant unveils transformed Fisher Student Center

CONTACT: Tara Williams, Steinreich Communications 
PHONE: (201) 498-1600

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University has reopened a completely transformed and re-imagined student center, dedicated earlier this month as the Michael E. ’67 and Karen L. Fisher Student Center. The Fisher Student Center is named to recognize the leadership and generosity of Michael Fisher, former managing director and CEO of a division of Barclays Global Investors, and his wife, Karen. Mr. Fisher is in his second term as a Bryant University Trustee and currently serves as chairman of Bryant’s Board of Trustees.

"The need for spaces that facilitate round-the-clock learning and collaboration has become essential."

Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley celebrated the grand opening of the Fisher Student Center with special events held on the Bryant campus Sept. 26 th and 27 th .  “The Fisher Student Center will provide the entire Bryant community with a vibrant hub for collaboration, experiential learning, and relaxation,” said Machtley. “As the Bryant community has become increasingly residential, attracting students and faculty from all over the world, the need for spaces that facilitate round-the-clock learning and collaboration has become essential. Such facilities are a crucial part of Bryant’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan.

The three-story facility reflects a space that has been redesigned to better serve the needs of Bryant’s growing student population, which represents 33 states and 85 countries. The new design supports Bryant’s distinctive approach to learning, providing innovative opportunities for students to put theory into practice and learn by doing. As a hub for the campus community, the Fisher Student Center provides the versatile space and technology to support a variety of distinctive educational experiences- spaces for students to collaborate, to hone leadership skills, to give presentations and performances, to communicate with fellow students and faculty worldwide, and to foster the sense of community that is a hallmark of the Bryant experience.

Students were active participants in the design of the Fisher Student Center, working with Bryant leadership and architectural and design firm Ewing Cole. “The Center, a result of research and planning between student leaders and the University, will create incredible change to campus life,” said Bryant Student Senate President Paden Sadler ’14. “It will be a destination, providing space for us to come together and expanding our learning experiences.”

Fisher Student Center fireplace Highlights of the Fisher Student Center:

-- Innovative design features, such as Leadership Pods and Collaboration Stations, to advance new modes of learning.
-- A signature fireplace (left) that creates a central campus common and serves as a functional and symbolic hearth.
-- Rehearsal and performance suite, including recording studio, for student musicians.
-- A mixed-purpose space that accommodates 225 for campus-wide lectures and events, student performances, and special programming initiatives.
-- Enhanced offices and meeting rooms for clubs and organizations including the Intercultural Center, Hochberg Women’s Center, and Bryant Pride Center.
-- Expanded dining options, a convenience store, and the Bryant Bookstore.

Bryant’s superior campus learning environment is frequently recognized for both architectural and educational excellence. Over the last decade, Bryant has added more than ¼ million square feet in facilities and since 1996 has invested more than $180 million in its contemporary campus.

Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. Recognizing its 150 th anniversary in 2013, Bryant University has approximately 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students from 33 states and 85 countries. Bryant University regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and Barron’s.