Published 04/29/16

Commencement 2016 honorary degree recipients announced

For 153 years, Bryant has excelled at educating innovative leaders of character who are prepared to make a difference around the world. This month, members of our Class of 2016 complete their undergraduate and post-graduate studies in the arts and sciences and in business. At Commencement ceremonies, they will be awarded a Bryant University diploma that has more value now than at any time in our history, and join the powerful network of alumni who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their organizations and communities.

On behalf of the Trustee Committee on Honorary Degrees, President Ronald K. Machtley announced that Bryant University will bestow honorary degrees on four accomplished individuals at Commencement exercises May 19 and 21.

Clayton M. Christensen, D.B.A., widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on innovation and the No. 1 management thinker in the world, will deliver the Commencement address to 752 graduating seniors and their families at undergraduate ceremonies May 21. Dr. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and a best-selling author whose books include "The Innovator’s Dilemma," named one of the six most important books about business ever written, and the groundbreaking, "How Will You Measure Your Life?"

Christensen headshotDr. Christensen has founded and led numerous organizations, including Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank whose mission is to apply his theories to societal problems such as healthcare and education. He has also advised the executives of scores of the world’s major corporations, which now generate tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue from product and service innovations inspired by his research.

Dr. Christensen holds a B.A. with highest honors in economics from Brigham Young University and an M.Phil. in applied econometrics from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He received an M.B.A. with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School, graduating as a George F. Baker Scholar. In 1982, he was named a White House Fellow, and served as assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretaries Drew Lewis and Elizabeth Dole. He was awarded his D.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1992, at which time he became a faculty member there. Dr. Christensen, who speaks fluent Korean, holds five honorary doctorates and an honorary chaired professorship at the Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

Wang headshot Dr. Taoguang Wang, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Beijing Institute of Technology Zhuhai, located in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, will also receive an honorary degree at Commencement exercises on May 21. In September, Bryant welcomed its historic first entering class of 160 Chinese students at Bryant Zhuhai. Dr. Wang has been an invaluable partner as Bryant created this unique program with Beijing Institute of Technology Zhuhai to educate both Chinese and U.S. students. The new four-year undergraduate program prepares Bryant students with the global perspective that is essential for success in today’s international business world. 

In opening the new academic school, this year Bryant became the first and only American university with a presence in Zhuhai, the first university to establish a partnership with a private institution in China, and the only U.S.-China joint four-year undergraduate business degree program in China.

Dr. Wang, who attended Harvard University for postdoctoral studies, received his Ph. D. in Economics from Peking University, and his Master’s degree in Finance from Bowling Green State University. He also holds both Master of Law and Bachelor of Laws degrees from Peking University, and currently serves as Chairman of the Zhuhai Alumni Association for Peking University. Dr. Wang was a business leader who served as chairman and CEO for several investment corporations in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Judge McKenna GoldbergOur third honorary degree recipient at Bryant’s 153nd undergraduate Commencement is Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg, J.D. An esteemed leader and public servant, Justice Goldberg was appointed to the Rhode Island Supreme Court by Governor Lincoln Almond in 1997 and served as Acting Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court in 2009. She previously was Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court from 1990 to 1997, and held positions as Solicitor for the Towns of South Kingstown and Westerly. Justice McKenna is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School, Providence College, and St. Mary Academy - Bay View.

Singleton headshot Addressing the 114 graduates and their families at the Commencement ceremony for our Graduate Programs on May 19 will be J. L. “Lynn” Singleton, longtime president and CEO at Providence Performing Arts. Mr. Singleton arrived at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) in 1983 and successfully reversed the theatre’s financial situation, transforming the Center from near bankruptcy to one of the most successful not-for-profit theatres in North America. Under Mr. Singleton’s steadfast leadership, PPAC has undergone historically-accurate restorations and extensive expansion, and has evolved as a one of the region’s most treasured cultural icons. Today PPAC is considered a world-class venue and presents a full roster of touring Broadway theatrical performances and contemporary engagements. Mr. Singleton has been recognized as one of the Top 25 driving forces in the Rhode Island business community and in 2012 received Trinity Repertory Company’s Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts.