Published 11/20/13

Alumnus with ROTC students

Henry Stad '40, left, an Army sergeant during World War II, shows Bryant ROTC students Justin Snow '15, center, and Tyler Donovan '15 his letter of thanks to the Bryant Service Club. The letter, along with scores of others, appears in the new book, Bryant College Goes to War.

New book profiles WWII alumni, to be used in innovative First-Year Gateway Experience

Contact: Frank Tortorici, Steinreich Communications; (201) 498-1600

SMITHFIELD, RI -- Bryant University, a leading private university offering a uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education, has published a new book in recognition of its landmark 150 th anniversary. Written by Bryant University Professor and award-winning historian Judy Barrett Litoff, Ph.D., Bryant College Goes to War  showcases the courage, resilience, and teamwork of Bryant graduates and students during World War II.

The book features the story of Andrew Mamedoff, a Bryant alumnus and one of the first eight Americans who defied U.S. neutrality laws to become a pilot with the British Royal Air Force and fight the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. Through the rich wartime correspondence of additional Bryant alumni, the extensively-illustrated history shares Bryant graduates’ firsthand accounts of wartime as documented in letters shared with members of the Bryant Service Club, the only student-led organization in existence at the time that sent care packages to alumni fighting in the war.  These letters, many of which are reproduced in the book, reveal the character and leadership exhibited by Bryant women and men during World War II.

The book captures the themes of character, leadership, and enterprise that prevail at Bryant to this day.

Drawing upon their organizational and business acumen, members of the Bryant Service Club mobilized to send morale-boosting packages to Bryant alumni in the military. In response, the club received more than 1,300 letters from alumni stationed in every major theater of war.

Bryant College Goes to War  will be used by some Bryant faculty as part of the curriculum for Bryant’s nationally recognized First-Year Gateway Experience, a multi-year initiative integrating real-world experiences with innovative academic opportunities that improve students’ cultural awareness, critical thinking, ethical reasoning skills, and writing proficiency.

Bryant College Goes to War will be incorporated into Global Foundations of Character and Leadership course, a class that is a part of the Gateway Experience’s core curriculum. Global Foundations of Organizations and Businesses, and Innovation Design Experience for All (IDEA) -- a 72-hour immersion initiative in which students solve real-world problems -- are the other core Gateway courses. Students are required to upload course assignments to an electronic portfolio and compare them with the outcomes they established with faculty members at the start of the class.

“We are proud to share these stories of Bryant students who took a leadership role during World War II, and pleased to have Bryant College Goes to War published in commemoration of Bryant’s 150 years of educating students for success,” said Bryant University Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jose-Marie Griffiths.  “This important work by Professor Litoff captures the themes of character, leadership, and enterprise that run deep in our community and prevail at Bryant to this day.”

Professor Litoff is the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors. For the past 25 years, she has been a prolific author with a deep body of work, writing regularly about American women and their roles during World War II. Her nationwide search for women’s correspondence resulted in a collection of 30,000 wartime letters written by American women, which is documented in Bryant’s U.S. Women and World War II Letter Writing Project. Bryant College Goes to War is available through the Bryant University bookstore.

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 35 states and 85 countries. Bryant University is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report , Bloomberg Businessweek , Forbes and Barron’s.