Bryant University sets new Giving Day record, raises $2M

BRYANT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS help with on-campus donations inside the rotunda Wednesday during the university's annual Giving Day. The initiative raised more than $2 million, setting a new record. / COURTESY BRYANT UNIVERSITY
BRYANT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS help with on-campus donations inside the rotunda Wednesday during the university's annual Giving Day. The initiative raised more than $2 million, setting a new record. / COURTESY BRYANT UNIVERSITY

SMITHFIELD – Bryant University’s annual one-day fundraising initiative was another record-setter, reaching a new milestone in the process.

The university’s “Giving Day” raised on Wednesday $2.02 million from 3,869 donors through 5,784 gifts. This marks the third consecutive year that Bryant’s 24-hour fundraising initiative not only raised at least $1 million in a single day, but also set a new school record.

Bryant’s 2021 Giving Day raised $1.4 million, which eclipsed the $1 million the university raised in 2020 – the first time Bryant’s single day event brought in seven figures.

“This will have a tremendous impact,” Bryant Vice President of Advancement Dave Wegrzyn told Providence Business News Thursday. “It’s great to see this program grow so significantly. Every year, it’s grown by almost 40% in terms of dollars raised. The students were into it; the faculty and staff were into it. It was a great day to be a Bulldog.”

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Wegrzyn also said the money raised Wednesday will benefit and support the university’s Vision 2030 strategic plan, which includes various initiatives and proposals to improve and expand Bryant’s academic and campus experience. He also said people, including Bryant’s alumni, are “inspired by the future,” hence wanting to give more and more to the university to support its programming. The university, Wegrzyn said, is about creating better solutions and “a better world,” plus Giving Day, itself, has become over the last few years a rallying point for Bryant.

“The students get excited because it is a supportive and enriching environment that helps these students transform themselves, so they get excited about it,” Wegrzyn said. “The corporations who employ Bryant alums and who support us all really enjoy rallying around this day.” Wegrzyn also said social media, and spreading the message far and wide beyond the Rhode Island border through various channels, also helped Bryant surpass last year’s single-day fundraising mark.

According to the Giving Day leaderboard, 25 programs and initiatives – both academic and athletic – received at least $10,000 in funds during Wednesday’s Giving Day. Of that amount, 12 received at least $30,000 and eight got a minimum $50,000 in contributed funds.

The Alan Lang and Doris Lang Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports a New England student to attend Bryant’s College of Business, received $100,005 in donations on Wednesday. The university’s men’s lacrosse team got $88,125 in donations during Giving Day.

Bryant’s Women Leaders Annual Scholarship Fund was gifted $84,000 on Wednesday. Scholarships awarded through this program, Bryant says, help students develop leadership skills and foster strong academic performance.

The university’s baseball team got $71,807 during Giving Day and Bryant’s College of Business Dean’s Council Fund, which, Bryant says, provides external perspectives, review, advocacy and financial support for the college’s students, programs, strategic direction and overall objectives, received $71,390.

Wegrzyn said the funds will help drive enrollment and bring more students to the university, as well as expand offerings in various programs, such as data analytics, taxation, digitization evolution within the accounting profession. He also said more scholarship opportunities will be presented to students, as well.

“Keeping tuition dollars low and student debt manageable is a primary driver is a of what we’re trying to accomplish for Vision 2030,” Wegrzyn said.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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