Bryant University
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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bolstering its conference membership in all facets, the America East Conference will officially welcome Bryant University as its newest member institution on Wednesday during an introductory press conference on Bryant’s campus. Bryant was announced as a full America East member institution on March 29 following unanimous support from the league’s Board of Presidents.

Bryant will officially join the conference as its newest member institution on July 1, 2022.

“On behalf of the America East Board of Presidents, I am thrilled to welcome Bryant University as the Conference’s newest member,” said UAlbany President and America East Board of Presidents Chair Havidán Rodríguez. “Bryant is an outstanding addition to America East. Its stalwart reputation as an innovative institution in our geographic footprint aligns well with our members’ commitment to academic excellence and the highest levels of athletic competition.”

The addition of Bryant strengthens America East academically, athletically, and geographically. As an academic institution, Bryant is renowned for its business program, which was ranked in the Top 20 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its latest rankings. Overall, Bryant was ranked seventh in the Regional Universities North category, rising up 17 spots in recent years.

Bryant will join a membership group for 2022-23 that consists of a collection of top academic and research-based institutions in the country. The conference, which is comprised primarily of public institutions dedicated to research, boasts five Carnegie R1 institutions and two R2 schools, one of the most prolific collections of universities in the country.

“America East is one of the most comprehensive Division I conferences in the country and becoming an America East member will allow us to further build our presence from the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast,” said Bryant University President, Ross Gittell. “There is tremendous momentum in the Bryant community right now.”
Bryant’s arrival adds to one of America East’s strengths, its geographic footprint. The move reinforces one of the conference’s greatest assets, the proximity of its campuses. The membership now spans eight neighboring states across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, including the greater metro areas of several of the region’s largest cities: New York City, Boston, Baltimore, Newark, and Providence. Bryant’s central location will put it within 400 miles of every other league member.

“We are thrilled that Bryant University will join America East as a full member institution starting next academic year,” said America East Commissioner, Brad Walker. “Bryant’s reputation as an academic institution combined with its athletics success will help strengthen our conference in all facets. Its university mission, sports offerings, and commitment to having elite facilities are just some of the many reasons Bryant will add to our already outstanding membership group.”

Since transitioning to Division I prior to the 2008-09 academic year, Bryant has quickly ascended to a premier athletic program in the region. In that time, the Bulldogs have secured two Northeast Conference commissioner’s cups, seven-straight men’s commissioner’s cups, 22 regular-season championships, 31 tournament championships, 30 NCAA Tournament appearances and have produced 37 All-Americans. This past season, Bryant won its first-ever NEC men’s basketball title in addition to the regular-season title.

Bryant will join a rich athletics tradition in the America East. In competition, the league’s success has been highlighted by the greatest upset in NCAA men’s basketball tournament history (UMBC, 2018), individual national champions in track & field, top-ranked teams in men’s and women’s lacrosse, and deep NCAA championship runs in several sports, including Final Four berths in field hockey (UAlbany, 2014), men’s soccer (UMBC, 2014) and men’s lacrosse (UAlbany, 2018) as well as a College World Series appearance.

“I want to thank Commissioner Walker and the America East Board of Presidents for giving this incredible opportunity to the student-athletes, coaches, and staff at Bryant University,” said Bryant University Director of Athletics, Bill Smith said. “America East consists of universities and programs that excel nationally on both the field of play and in the classroom. We are honored to become a member of this outstanding conference and will work diligently to make them proud.”

Located in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant sponsors 23 sports at the Division I level and will participate in all 18 sports America East sponsors baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field and women’s volleyball.

Bryant also has some of the best facilities in the Northeast. The David ’85 and Terry Beirne Stadium Complex, the Conaty Indoor Athletic Center, the Bulldog Strength, and Conditioning Center, and Conaty Park have all been built since 2012. In addition, the Chace Athletic Center underwent major renovations prior to the 2020-21 season and the construction of the state-of-the-art Convocation Center and Arena was recently announced.

ABOUT AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE
The America East Conference is a premier NCAA Division I athletic conference whose mission centers around its commitment to building the complete student-athlete. America East provides its member schools and their athletic programs a platform upon which student-athletes can achieve both collegiate and life success through the promotion and nurturing of its #3Pillars: athletic excellence, academic achievement, and leadership, on and off the field. One of the most comprehensive Division I conferences in the country and progressive in its approach to its more than 3,500 student-athletes, America East recognizes champions in each of its 18 sports and consists of elite member institutions spanning from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast regions of the United States. For more information, visit www.AmericaEast.com or follow the America East Conference on Twitter @AmericaEast. 

ABOUT BRYANT UNIVERSITY
For nearly 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The University delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, STEM, and the liberal arts. Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual, and Barron’sVisit https://www.bryant.edu/

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