President Chrite’s First Day
A Message from the President
Dear Bentley Community,
Today is my first day as the ninth president of Bentley University. My wife, Phyllis, and I are honored, humbled and tremendously excited to join this community and begin meeting the students, faculty, staff and alumni who make Bentley a special place. Since I last spoke with many of you over Zoom in March, I’ve been counting down the days until I arrived on campus. I am so glad that this day is finally here, and I am ready and eager to get to work.
Bentley University is an extraordinary institution.
I know some of you are well aware of this already. It’s why you chose to study here, teach here or build a career here. But as the newest member of this community, I think it’s important to acknowledge this truth.
Founded as a one-room schoolhouse in 1917 during World War I, Harry Bentley’s School of Accounting and Finance was as courageous as it was prescient. Mr. Bentley recognized a human need—a changing federal tax code and national need for expert accountants—that could be answered with a business solution. Bentley became the institution to train the very specialists who would thrive in this emerging economy.
In 2021, amid a pandemic that has forever altered the way we understand what it means to be a member of a global and connected human community, Bentley is once again uniquely positioned to not only succeed but to thrive and deliver new standards of individual and institutional capacity building. This includes affirming the critical importance of a diverse and inclusive community as a condition of global competitiveness and excellence. In the century since this school first opened its doors on Boylston Street in Boston, Bentley has continued to innovate, continued to develop principle-centered and ethical business professionals, and continued to harness the power of the marketplace to improve the human condition.
This university sits at the enviable intersection of intellectual rigor and market relevance. Throughout my entire academic and professional career, I’ve strongly believed that business has the potential to create solutions to society’s problems—just as Mr. Bentley did in 1917—and that entrepreneurship and innovative thinking can lead to a better tomorrow. That’s exactly what Bentley does best. I’ve seen throughout my career and around the world what business education can do for society and humankind. That’s exactly what Bentley offers, which is why we have no interest in developing the intellect of our students at the expense of their heart. To now be at the helm of this extraordinary university that has dedicated itself for more than a century to educating the business leaders of tomorrow is humbling.
Q&A with President Chrite
In getting to know Bentley over the past few months, I believe I’ve already found the special ingredient that makes this institution extraordinary: the people. This is a university with brilliant students and alumni who are empowered to transform business, society and communities for the better. This is a university with exceptional faculty who contribute to a broad, emerging and evolving body of knowledge, while also educating and enriching our students in the classroom. And this is a university with dedicated and talented staff, driven to seek innovative approaches and solutions to support our students through their educational and lifelong journey.
To note just one example of the generous nature of this university, I want to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to Bentley University Class of 1983 alumnus Paul Condrin, who selflessly stepped out of retirement to assume the mantle of leadership as interim president and to assist the institution during a particularly difficult and auspicious year. As Paul returns to his role as chair of the board of trustees, I could not think of a better or more supportive partner in leading this institution. I look forward to working with Paul and with the rest of the trustees in the years to come.
For those of you on campus this summer, if you see me walking around, please stop and say “hello.” I know it’s only June 1, but I can’t wait to welcome all of our students back to campus this fall, with classrooms, study rooms and dorm rooms full once again. After a year of careful, safe distancing, we are all looking forward to reengaging with this community with the warmth that so richly defines this community. Until then, I’ll be spending my days listening and learning from all of you and getting to know as many members of this extended community as I can as we begin this exciting chapter together.
I’ll be sharing more with you throughout the summer and into the fall, but for now I wanted to let you know how excited I am to be your president. Our best days as a university are ahead of us. I am honored to join you in building upon the extraordinary legacy and history of Bentley University and to work collaboratively with this entire community to take the university to the next tier of excellence.
E. LaBrent Chrite, PhD