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Bentley Students Sponsor First-Ever Passport Party

March 27, 2005

WALTHAM, Mass. - In the ever-growing world of global business, perhaps nothing is more important than having a passport in order to travel at a moment's notice. Bentley recently made the process of obtaining one easier, hosting the first-ever Passport Party earlier this month. Sponsored by the Class Cabinets and the Offices of Student Life, Student Affairs and Education Abroad, the free event was designed to aid students in need of a passport for international travel or study abroad programs.

Bentley provided students with passport applications, a photographer and notaries from the Stoneham Town Clerk's Office. All students needed to bring were birth certificates, proof of identity and the $85 application fee. More than 125 students, faculty and staff attended the event - 112 attendees had photographs taken and 88 applications were processed by the town clerks.

"It's imperative that students have a passport in today's business world. In addition, more Bentley students study abroad and travel overseas then ever before," said Danielle Parsons, chair of the Senior Class Cabinet. "The passport process can be tedious, and as a result, only a small percentage of the population actually has them. We figured if students were given the opportunity to complete the process in one afternoon, they'd be more likely to attend."

"We wanted to keep the entire process together in one convenient location," said Senior Class Cabinet member Jaclyn Simono, who noted talks arose when seniors were discussing proper documentation for their upcoming Senior Week trip. "When we approached various offices throughout campus about the idea, there was overwhelming support to create a campus-wide event to benefit all students."

The Cabinet originally got the party idea months back from Vice President for Student Affairs Kathleen Yorkis, who envisioned a future where all Bentley students would graduate with a passport in hand, noting "to me a passport for a Bentley student should be like a driver's license." All four class cabinets developed the idea and decided to host the party not only to benefit students now, but also in the future.

"A passport is such a crucial piece of documentation; no Bentley student should graduate without one," said Simono. "It would be unfortunate for a recent graduate to be in a situation where they miss out on an exciting travel opportunity because they did not have a passport. Suppose their boss calls a meeting to announce that four volunteers are needed for an assignment in London on the condition that they leave in two days. Without a passport, the individual would miss out on this opportunity."

"We want Bentley students to be successful in all aspects of both business and their studies. Traveling for business or pleasure is an amazing opportunity and students should be encouraged to participate," added Parsons. "Being cultured is an amazing attribute and we hope Bentley students take full advantage of that during their careers both here and upon graduation."

Anne Richard, vice president for Government Relations & Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee and former State Department employee, was on campus the same week to speak about humanitarian and development aid. She too was impressed with the initiative of the students. "I had never heard of anything like this party," she said. "It's a great way to encourage students and even faculty to go out and see the world -- something that might ultimately benefit all of us if we have a well-traveled citizenry to get involved in and care about U.S. foreign policy."

"It was so exciting to see so much support from faculty and staff," added Parsons. "I think the town clerks were amazed how many students participated, since our four hours topped the number they normally do in an entire month!"

"The Class Cabinets hope that this will become an annual event for students on this campus. We cannot stress enough to our fellow students how important it is for everyone to have a passport," said Simono.

The next Passport Party is scheduled for the fall, and the commitment has been made to hold them twice a year, according to Yorkis.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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