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Bridgewater College announces 85% already reached in $35M fundraising campaign goal

Bowman Hall exterior
Photo courtesy Bridgewater College

Bridgewater College has launched the public phase of a $35 million fundraising campaign and has already raised more than 85 percent of the fundraising goal.

According to BC President Dr. David Bushman, more than 85 percent of the fundraising goal was raised through the contributions of more than 800 donors.

“We are thrilled to have this level of support from our donors, alumni and friends,” Bushman said. “We have done our best to make a Bridgewater education as affordable as possible while maintaining and advancing the value of a BC education. These contributions allow us to take the next step in ensuring that future generations can take advantage of what we are able to offer.”

Connections: The Campaign for Bridgewater College is centered on raising funds to support what leadership describes as three pillars of priorities: Eagle Fund (current-use scholarships), teaching and learning initiatives and capital projects. Bushman said that the fundraising priorities are based on what leadership identified as the strategic priorities for the college for the next 10 or 15 years.

“The Campaign is about people and programs and places,” he said. “These are a carefully curated selection of our top priorities that will have an impact on the College for decades.”

During the quiet phase of the Campaign, the college received donations that established the college’s first two named schools: the Bonnie Forrer and John Harvey Rhodes School of Arts and Humanities and the Rev. Wilfred E. and Dr. Joyce A. Nolen School of Business and Professional Studies.

Donors have also contributed funds for the creation of an outdoor learning space that is Rebecca Quad, the renovation of the college’s primary classroom building Bowman Hall, upgrades to Jopson Athletic Complex, and a planned renovation of the college’s old Alumni Gym into a new Center for Career Development. According to Bushman, the new building spaces, equipped with the latest technology, are specifically designed to facilitate the group work and online learning that are part of a 21st-century education.

Now that the Campaign has moved into the public phase, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Meg Flory Riner said she hopes that new supporters will be inspired to make contributions of their own towards supporting the college. She especially encourages donations to the College’s Eagle Fund (current-use scholarships), which can be made at any level and have an immediate impact on students’ lives.

“No matter the amount, everybody can be a part of the Connections Campaign,” Riner said. “The beauty of the public phase of the campaign is how everyone in the BC community joins together to make a collective impact on the future of Bridgewater College and our students.”

Interested donors can reach out directly to the Office of Institutional Advancement or learn more online.

Coeducational since its founding in 1880, Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,450 students and offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and minors and four graduate programs housed within three distinct schools.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.