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By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
SMITHFIELD – Hassenfeld Family Initiatives LLC has donated $1 million to Bryant University in support of the Bryant Institute for Public Leadership which will be renamed the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership in recognition of the gift.
Bryant University President Ronald Machtley and Alan G. Hassenfeld, chairman of the executive committee of Hasbro Inc. announced the donation on Oct. 23.
“The need for a program like this in Rhode Island is critical,” Machtley said in a statement. “The Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership is just one example of the university’s vision of fostering care and leadership- not only among our students, alumni, and faculty, but within the state of Rhode Island as well.”
The institute was opened in December 2010 to offer leadership programs to public officials and others involved in the development, management and implementation of public policy.
Machtley said Hassenfeld was “the visionary” behind the institute and based the idea on a program run from Hassenfeld Family Initiatives that underwrites scholarships for Rhode Island leaders to attend sessions at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
“I couldn’t afford to send all of Rhode Island’s public servants to the Kennedy School,” Hassenfeld said. “I knew if I was going to do a version of the Kennedy School program in Rhode Island, I wanted it to be at Bryant.”
Hassenfeld is a past Bryant Trustee and received an honorary degree from Bryant University in 1985.
Hassenfeld Family Initiatives, a Providence-based charitable organization, works to globalize safety and human rights and also to improve Rhode Island’s economy, education, and business opportunities.