Bridgewater College announces Wade Institute for Teaching and Learning

bridgewaterAgainst the backdrop of the official opening of its Center for Engaged Learning yesterday, Bridgewater College announced that the Center’s new Institute for Teaching and Learning will bear the name of its benefactors, Ben F. and Janice W. Wade, in recognition of their support and their service to higher education.

The Wade Institute for Teaching and Learning, under the direction of associate professor of political science and history James Josefson, will create and implement new ways for faculty to teach and students to learn. The program enables students to engage in learning while working with faculty and community leaders to develop new opportunities for skill development and experiential learning. The Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award, established by the Wades in 1998, will now be administered by the Institute. The award is given annually to a Bridgewater College faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding teaching in the classroom during the academic year.

“The Institute is a sign and signal of our commitment to the continued development of an excellent teaching faculty and – through the efforts of that faculty – the achievement of exceptional learning outcomes for all of our students,” said David W. Bushman, president of Bridgewater College.

“The Institute will ensure that Bridgewater College remains on the forefront of innovative education, the mentoring of faculty by their peers and the use of assessment practices to strengthen teaching and learning across all disciplines,” noted Josefson.

He said initiatives such as the Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award, Annual Pedagogy Project, the Teaching Resource Group and The Big Question provide examples of the kinds of activities the Wade Institute will support to nurture the development of excellent teachers and to achieve the student learning outcomes that are central to Bridgewater’s liberal arts mission.

The Wades are graduates of Bridgewater College’s class of 1957. Dr. Ben F. Wade is a native of Roanoke. After graduating with a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religion, he earned the master of divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in 1960, the master of sacred theology degree from Boston University in 1961, the master of science degree from Columbia University in 1966 and the doctor of philosophy degree from Hartford Seminary Foundation in 1966. Having served several institutions as a member of the faculty and administration, Wade returned to Bridgewater College in 1979 to serve as the executive assistant to the president and as the college’s first provost.

Janice Wade is a native of Washington, D.C. After graduating from Bridgewater with a bachelor of arts in French, she earned a master of education from the University of Hartford in 1963. She taught elementary school, adult basic education and college courses in elementary education.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduate students.