Board of Trustees Chair steps down

After 11 years as the chair of the Board of Trustees, business leader and philanthropist Richard L. Bready will step down from his position on Oct. 25 after helping transform RWU, known for its innovation, affordability and experiential learning through community engagement.

Bready, former CEO and Chairman of Nortek Inc., has served on the RWU board for a total of 22 years. The RWU Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday and announce a new board chair on Monday, Oct. 29.

All students and faculty received an email on Oct. 22 about Bready’s retirement.

“Chairman Bready has left an indelible mark on Roger Williams University, helping to lead a remarkable period of growth and dramatic transformation in the University’s reputation and its impact on the communities we serve,” RWU Interim President Andy Workman said. “We cannot thank him enough for the countless hours and the substantial resources he has invested in our University. He will long be remembered on campus, not only because the University sailing center bears his name, but because he has been a major catalyst in making RWU the University it is today.”

RWU Interim Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Jerry Williams said the University grew in size, reputation and importance during Bready’s time as the Board Chair.

“The one thing that stands out for me is his never-ending desire to help others with his time and generosity,” Williams said. “When you look at the nonprofit boards that he sits on or has chaired, it truly demonstrates his sincere wish to spend time helping others and improving life for so many.”

Bready was known for his skills to quickly analyzing information, listen to all sides of an issue and mentoring others. Williams said that his gifts to the university were widely appreciated and made a huge difference to the community. He served as Nortek’s chair and chief executive officer from 1990 to 2011. He has been chair of the RWU Board of Trustees since 2007. He has previously served on the board from 1984 to 1993. Additionally, he was a member of the RWU School of Law Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014, according to the campus-wide e-mail.