Look who stopped by Bryant recently

10 Feb

Bryant has long sought to bring education and culture to life through out-of-classroom experiences, and in the fall 2011 semester, Bryant’s Student Arts and Speakers Series (SASS) group provided students with a lot of entertainment.

Ironclad Tupper with the Iron Man of Baseball

First up in September, SASS brought baseball legend and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. to campus, where he spoke in front of a sellout crowd in the MAC about what it takes to have a winning attitude. “Find something you love to do,” he says, “and let that passion drive you.” Since retiring from baseball, Ripken devotes his life to business endeavors and philanthropic work.

Matisyahu - Publicity Photo

In October, Matisyahu performed on campus. His appearance was also sponsored by SASS. Matisyahu fuses rap, beatboxing, and hip-hop with traditional vocal disciplines of jazz’s scat singing and Judaism’s chazzan style of songful prayer – more often than not rolling it all into a dominant background of reggae music. “All of my songs are influenced and inspired by the teachings that inspire me,” he says. “I want my music to have meaning, to be able make people think.”

Svet - Publicity Photo

Right in the midst of pre-Thanksgiving presentations and tests, students were treated to the musical stylings of Svet, a classically trained violinist who adds elements of hip-hop, pop, house, and reggaeton. The end result is a type of urban music that is at once catchy and danceable, and the Rotunda was packed with spectators enjoying the show.

Michael Franzese - Photo by Scott Huck

The Bryant community had the opportunity in early November to hear Michael Franzese discuss “Leaving a Life of Crime: How Doing What’s Right Has Changed.” Franzese is a former high-ranking Mafia boss who took the rap for, and was convicted on, multiple counts of racketeering, counterfeiting, and extortion. The author of a series of mob-themed inspirational books, he now tours the country speaking to church groups, students, and professional athletes on the dangers of gambling and fraud. His appearance was sponsored by the University’s Ronald K. and Kati C. Machtley Interfaith Center, the Department of Athletics, the Division of Student Affairs, and SASS.

And SASS shows no signs of slowing down. First up this semester (on February 16)? Laura Ling, the U.S. journalist who was convicted of illegal entry into North Korea in 2009. Make sure to pick up your tickets at the Bryant Center Information Desk.

3 Responses to “Look who stopped by Bryant recently”

  1. elyse garrett February 10, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    WOW! Quite an impressive group for what I assume is a relatively small university! Lisa Ling should be a really good program! Wish I lived closer! Enjoy your blogs, Tupper! Keep up the good work! Looks like you are taking lots of pointers from another certain bulldog we know!

  2. Bryant University Mascot Tupper February 10, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Hi, Elyse! Yes, Bryant students work hard to make their 4 years here more meaningful. Most of the events come about through their hard work. I’m proud of all the good they do! Butler Blue II is most definitely my inspiration. He is also a dog of the people!

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