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A Different World: Past and Future at a Changing Bryant

Janet Rutter ’54 reflects on Bryant’s growth across a span of 60 years

Jane Rutter

Janet Rutter ’54

"If you didn't make the dean's list," says Janet Rutter '54, "you didn't go out." The curfew for Bryant women with top grades was ten o'clock on weeknights, midnight on weekends. This was just one of the many changes Rutter noted when she visited campus at the start of the fall semester of 2016.

Rutter recalls using her late-curfew privilege to make stops around Providence picking up snacks for her dorm-mates. This generous spirit was part of the reason Rutter found lifelong friends during her college days. She is quick to list the names of classmates with whom she kept in touch for decades, even when families and careers led them in different directions. Rutter's former roommate, Louise Kelso '54, joined her for the return to Bryant.

While looking across the Smithfield campus, Rutter says, "Oh, it was nothing like this. I look at the magazines that come from Bryant and I just can't believe the buildings. And to see them in person...it's a different world."

Among all of the changes, certain qualities remain as fixtures of the Bryant experience. Rutter recalls an education that prepared her for the professional world. Students then, as now, needed personal drive and dedication to meet the high academic standards set by faculty. "You had to work hard," Rutter recalls. "You had to do it right." Her course of study provided a blend of business and office skills that led to a 40-year career working closely with the president of Warren Pumps in Warren, Massachusetts.

At its core, Bryant's commitment to a rigorous education remains the same. Rutter has helped to ensure this continuity with a charitable gift annuity, which allows her to make a gift now while receiving income for life."

By connecting to Bryant in this way, she establishes a vital connection between past and present, and demonstrates one way that alumni can merge their own financial planning with a gift to sustain the University for the long term. In talking about giving back, Rutter reflects on the things that her Bryant experience gave her. "I just felt that I got a good education. I was happy, and I met some great people."

Rutter has ensured the promise of a Bryant education for new generations of students for years to come, even if they can stay out a bit later at night than they used to.

Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant's Bold Future is the largest fundraising effort in Bryant's history. The $75 million campaign will generate the resources the University needs to achieve the transformative goals of Bryant's Vision 20/20 strategic plan and rise to new levels of excellence and national prominence. 

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