Barry Roy ’67 leaves Saint Michael’s largest single gift in school history

President Lorraine Sterritt says the former trustee and business leader’s gift represents a clear signal of faith in Saint Michael's College and the career outcomes of a liberal arts degree

January 15, 2021
Office of Institutional Advancement

Class of 1967 alumnus and longtime Trustee Barry Roy bequeathed $4 million to Saint Michael’s College through his estate, the largest single gift in the school’s 117-year history, College officials announced today.

A larger-than-life figure on campus and within New England philanthropic circles, Roy died on August 9, 2019 at the age of 73. “When I first met Barry, he immediately struck me as someone who had a giant heart of gold,” said Saint Michael’s President Lorraine Sterritt. “That first impression was absolutely correct. We quickly became close friends. He was devoted heart and soul to the College. As someone who came from humble circumstances himself, he made it his mission to help students and to help the College that had equipped him so well for his career, a classic case of paying it forward.”

Roy’s gift was announced this week by President Sterritt and Vice President for Institutional Advancement Krystyna Davenport Brown. Mr. Roy designated the gift as follows:

  • $750,000 to the newly established Emery and Bernice Roy Endowed Scholarship Fund, in memory of Barry’s parents, which will provide annual, need-based aid, with preferential consideration to underrepresented minority students and applicants
  • $1.2 million (approximately) to The Class of 1967 Endowed Scholarship Fund, providing need-based, unrestricted scholarship aid to Saint Michael’s students
  • $2 million (approximately) to the unrestricted Saint Michael’s Fund, used by the President and Board of Trustees for strategic future investment.

The portion of Barry’s gift honoring his parents signals his commitment to expanding opportunities—especially at Saint Michael’s—for students of color. Barry’s commitment to the social justice mission of the College will live on by enhancing the College’s ability to recruit students of color and by supporting the many students whose education will be impacted by this fund.

The $4 million posthumous gift brings Roy’s giving to Saint Michael’s to more than $4.5 million. A central gathering place on campus, The Roy Event Room, was named for him in 2013.

Roy’s generosity will have a tremendous impact on Saint Michael’s programs, students, and financial future. “Barry strongly supported our new programs in health-related fields, which are more vital now than ever,” explained Sterritt. “It is gratifying to realize that as a member of the Board, Barry had faith in the leadership of the College and understood the importance of both scholarships and unrestricted funds to ensure a bright future for the College that he loved so dearly. While I am heartbroken by his passing, I am deeply touched by his extraordinary generosity.”

Davenport Brown said Roy’s major gift “is not only a testimony to the love that Barry held for Saint Michael’s, but also a catalyst for the $10 million All in for St. Mike’s campaign that is currently under way to support our most pressing needs. Barry’s volunteerism, philanthropy, and support for the school is a lasting legacy. His tremendous gift will have a profound impact on the next generation of Saint Michael’s students.”

Reflections and gratitude from the community

“This is a BRIGHT LIGHT in a dark nation right now. Bless the name of Barry Roy, and his commitment to Saint Michael’s College and students of color.”

– Margaret Bass, Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion

“The gift that I knew Barry Roy to be from our years as classmates at Saint Michael’s, a friendship that grew much stronger through Alumni Reunions, and our time together on the Board of Trustees – that gift will be magnified as a result of his bequest to the College. With this gift, the conviviality and gentleness I knew in ‘Bear’, as we called him, confirms the genuine Christian Love that was his soul.  Bear has become an even ‘bigger’ person than I once realized. I cannot say enough to honor his memory.”

– Rev. Marcel Rainville, S.S.E, ’67

“Having served together with Barry on the Trustees, I can attest to his unwavering commitment to Saint Michael’s. Barry passed too soon, but it was a remarkable gift of forethought that his affairs were in order, and his lasting legacy will be to the place he was so devoted to in life.”

– Patricia Casey, Chair, Board of Trustees

“Barry was a prince of a person and a shining example of what it means to be a Saint Michael’s College graduate. His love for the College was both abundant and contagious and his special affection for the Class of 1967 was a joy to see. Barry left us too soon, but his many gifts to Saint Michael’s provide all of us who care about the College with an enduring legacy. Barry would be delighted to know that all of us are also supporting Saint Michael’s.”

– Mark Dalton ’72, Board of Trustees

“Barry was such a vital part of the Saint Michael’s family. I’ve spoken with many of his classmates from the class of 1967 and they all have fond memories of Barry.  He cared about his friends, and he cared about Saint Michael’s. Always. That’s how I view this final and lasting gift – his classmates and subsequent generations of students have been family to him, whether they knew it or not. And just like his friends would expect, Barry intends to continue looking after Saint Michael’s, as his way of saying thanks.”

– Krystyna Davenport Brown, Vice President of Institutional Advancement

“What an incredibly visionary and generous investment ensuring the ongoing success of the College! Barry has truly set a new bar for all alums to live out their passion for and support of Saint Mike’s!”

– Niall Keane, Class of 2018 and Alumni Board member

“I knew Barry, and I’m not surprised to hear of his great love of SMC. His generosity to the College is truly outstanding but not surprising. Thank you Barry!”

– Walter Baumann, Alumni Board member

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