On July 1, 1878 Theodore Barrows Stowell purchased Bryant and became the sole proprietor and principal of the college. He had been a Bryant faculty member for 6 years prior to this purchase. He remained president until 1916.

Stowell was born July 8, 1847 in Mansfield Center, Connecticut. He was educated at the Woodstock Academy and the Connecticut State Normal School and had been a teacher in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

During Stowell's 37 year tenure, the college was located in the Hoppin Homestead Building on Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island.

On June 17, 1915 Stowell was awarded an honorary Master of Arts Degree at Brown University's commencement. Brown University President Faunce's characterization of Stowell on this occasion is as follows -- "for half a century at the head of a business college, winning for himself loyal respect and confidence of many men now shaping the life of this state."

Stowell died in 1916 after working on the merger of Bryant and the Rhode Island Commercial School which was owned by Henry Jacobs.

In 2005 Stowell was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit and his contributions to Rhode Island higher education.