SMITHFIELD, RI–Bryant University embarks on a bold new era of excellence and innovation with the announcement of a significant campus expansion thanks to a generous real estate donation from neighboring Fidelity Investments.
The financial services company donated 100 Salem Street, a building part of their Smithfield corporate campus just across the street from the existing Bryant campus entrance. The acquisition marks the most significant real estate gift to Bryant University since Earl Tupper gifted his farmland to create Bryant’s Smithfield campus in 1967, and the university moved to Smithfield from its original Providence location.
This generous donation propels Bryant’s Vision 2030 plan forward by reimagining Bryant’s campus to include a state-of-the-art facility to house its top-ranking College of Business, the Graduate Programs office, the Executive Education and Career Accelerator, and the Women’s Leadership Institute. In addition, this new facility will also support extra-curricular activities and provide gathering space for all Bryant students. Bryant’s campus expansion, along with Vision 2030 strategic facilities investments, will support innovative learning hubs and enhanced emphasis on experiential learning, data analytics, and the business of health across the entire University and enable greater identification and distinction for the College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences.
“The donation of 100 Salem Street will allow our Smithfield campus to grow in a thoughtful, strategic, and purpose-driven manner,” says Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “Our longstanding corporate partners like Fidelity understand the value of a Bryant education and the importance of preparing students to excel in the rapidly changing economy.
The extended campus bolsters the bold initiatives put forward by Vision 2030, which includes continued investment in academic excellence, deep experiential learning, and Top 1% student outcomes, including high earnings and economic mobility.
Bryant will build out the 250,000-square-foot building to include classrooms, entrepreneurial innovation space, and state-of-the-art labs and engage students in design thinking, professional sales, fintech, AI, and data analytics. The facility will also include faculty and administrative office space and meeting and gathering spaces.
The additional square footage that the campus expansion provides will allow the creation of the “Innovative and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem” initiative that takes ambitious projects from ideation and incubation to venture capital funding. This new Center for Entrepreneurship will enhance collaboration between students, faculty, and industry throughout Rhode Island.
“Pursuing this gift strengthens our overall commitment to financial education and support for the Rhode Island community,” Michelle Vetovis, Senior Vice President, General Manager and RI Regional Leader at Fidelity Investments. “Fidelity and Bryant University have a more than 20-year relationship and, for roles located on our Smithfield campus, we hire more current and former Bryant students than from any other higher educational institution. Fidelity remains committed to this community and looks forward to the potential impact this will have for future growth and opportunities for both institutions.”
“This is a win-win for the town of Smithfield,” says Smithfield Town Manager Randy Rossi. “With Fidelity on track to add more jobs in the state, having Bryant’s bright talent pool right next door is a way to keep high-skilled college graduates right here in northern Rhode Island.”
“What an extraordinary opportunity to leverage what Bryant already does so well — create real-world ready graduates,” says Bryant’s Board of Trustees Chair David Beirne ‘85. “Our goal is to provide the number one undergraduate business education in the nation. The expansion of our campus gives the entire University, and the College of Business specifically, needed innovation space for our students to ideate bold, future-forward visions to transform the world. Fidelity understands and appreciates the impact of Bryant graduates. We are grateful for their continued investment in our students and our future.”
“Our Vision 2030 objectives are ambitious, and we have a monumental advantage in meeting – and even exceeding – them because of this generous gift,” continues President Gittell. “It’s an exciting time to be a Bryant Bulldog.”