In the summer of 1976, William T. O'Hara was enthusiastically welcomed as the President of Bryant College. His open-door policy and inclusiveness were welcomed by faculty and students. In 1977 he initiated weekly "Meet the Prez" sessions to connect with students. William "Bill" O'Hara graduated from Trinity College and gained law degrees from Georgetown and New York University. Before coming to Bryant, O'Hara had been a practicing attorney, a public defender and counsel to a congressional committee.
As president, O'Hara formalized a committee whose sole interest was in long-term planning and its members were made up of the college community -- faculty, students and staff.
In addition to defining Bryant's mission and starting long-range goals, this strategic committee suggested specific practical objectives, such as maintenance of an enrollment level of 2,600 to 2,700 full-time students.
Establishment of a Parents' Council (1977)
Construction of the Bell Tower and Plaza (1977)
Master of Science in Taxation program (1978)
Construction of the Multipurpose Activities Center (MAC) (1981)
RI Small Business Development Center founded at Bryant (first such center at a private college - 1982)
First Academic Chair - Sarkisian Chair of Business Economics (1984)
Strategic planning throughout his tenure
Bryant Center dedication (1986)
Koffler Center rededicated as a new computer center (1987)
125th Anniversary Celebration (1987-1988)
Initiated the process of achieving AACSB accreditation
After his presidency, William "Bill" O'Hara continued to be involved with the Bryant community as a faculty member and founder and director of Bryant's Institute for Family Enterprise. O'Hara authored Centuries of Success : Lessons from the World's Most Enduring Family Businesses and numerous other publications. Dr. William T. O'Hara passed away in January 2018.