Bridgewater College unveils new brand identity
Bridgewater College kicked off the 2019-20 academic year—its 140th year of educating students—by ushering in a new brand identity for the College. This strategic communications framework and new visual identity enhance how the College presents itself to the greater community and articulate what makes a Bridgewater education distinctive.
“While the College continues to hold dear the same values it has for 140 years, the institution has changed greatly and flourished in the past five years,” said Bridgewater President Dr. David Bushman. “Now is the time to present those positive changes to the world with a bold, new look and one strong voice.”
In the last year, Bridgewater College graduated its first master of science in athletic training students, as well as launched a new master’s program in digital media strategy and a new undergraduate major in professional writing. Additional master’s programs in psychology and human resources management and an undergraduate major in data science and analytics will launch soon. And the $13.2 million John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons project, a renovation and expansion of the Alexander Mack Memorial Library, will be complete before the spring semester.
A focus of the College’s Strategic Plan 2025, the branding project centers on strategic messaging that captures the essence of a Bridgewater education. The project began one year ago with conversations with each College constituency, including students, faculty, staff, coaches, alumni, trustees and parents. The consistent themes highlighted by each group drove home that Bridgewater not only has a unique identity, but that its mission and values resonate resolutely with every community member.
These community conversations, along with the findings of prospective student focus groups, were translated by Lipman Hearne, the College’s branding partner, into key messages that define how Bridgewater delivers an exceptional educational experience to its students.
Among the central messages is Bridgewater’s embracement of the student experience as an ever-growing network of connections. Its students connect with big ideas, mentors and classmates, which offer them infinite possibilities for their life on campus and beyond. The College is a place where students can be themselves and know that they belong. And there is a shared sense of responsibility and accountability for being there for fellow students.
But connections don’t just happen among the student body. Bridgewater professors are always learning and continually striving to expand and test what they know. Their focus on their passions leads to profound experiences and life-changing academic and professional opportunities for students.
Students graduate from Bridgewater with a clear sense of purpose. They leave prepared to begin their professional lives in fields that matter to them, and they know they can make an even greater impact on the world.
“We’re about more than just connected learning, we’re about connected lives,” Bushman said. “A Bridgewater journey is open-ended, and its pathways continue to unfold throughout one’s life.”
The connected “B” and “C” in the College’s new logo illustrate Bridgewater’s expertise in building connections and relationships that encourage talents, foster knowledge and give meaning so students will grow and flourish. But the new graphic identity is more than just a logo. It is the visual representation of the key messages that define the Bridgewater experience.
“Liberal arts means more than just producing well-rounded students,” Bushman said. “Our faculty, staff, students and alumni lead purposeful, whole lives. We place value on contributing to the world at-large, and making lasting connections in our communities.”
The rollout of the College’s brand, led by Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Abbie Parkhurst and the College’s Office of Marketing and Communications, will take place over the course of the next year, beginning with changes to the graphic identity on digital platforms and throughout campus. The fall recruitment cycle will begin with newly branded Office of Admissions publications and materials. A new website will launch later this year.
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 nearly 1,800 undergraduate students.