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Bridgewater College asks community to ‘rise to the challenge’ on grant

Crystal Graham
Bowman Hall exterior
Photo courtesy Bridgewater College

Bridgewater College is looking to raise $250,000 in cash and pledges by November 2024 to take advantage of a one-to-one challenge grant from a Richmond foundation.

The $250,000 challenge grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation will help fund the renovation of Bowman Hall, one of the college’s academic buildings.

“We are grateful to the MMPF for their support of this capital project, an important part of our ongoing efforts to create learning spaces across campus that better facilitate collaborations and connections between faculty and students,” said Meg Flory Riner, Bridgewater College Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “We are confident that the Bridgewater community will rise to the challenge to meet and exceed the matching grant requirements.”

Renovations to the historic Bowman Hall classroom building began in spring 2023 and will be completed this August. Bowman Hall is home to seven undergraduate programs, three graduate programs and four floors of classrooms and faculty offices.

Nearly every student takes at least one class at Bowman Hall during their time at Bridgewater.

The $8.5 million Bowman Hall renovation is transforming the classroom and office spaces into dynamic hubs of learning and engagement. State-of-the-art classrooms feature upgraded technology including multiple flatscreens, flexible furnishings and lab space.

Faculty offices are being integrated into advising suites to facilitate mentoring and collaborative work.

This is the second grant that Bridgewater has received from MMPF.

In 2018, the college successfully met a MMPF two-to-one challenge grant, earning $250,000 toward the reimagining of the college’s Mack Library into the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons. The Forrer Learning Commons opened in 2020 and contains the library’s collections, flexible study spaces, meeting rooms and a café, as well as a learning hub with centers for writing, tutoring and career development.

“The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation is pleased to award this matching grant and partner with Bridgewater College on another critical project that will positively impact teaching and learning across the college,” said Amy P. Nisenson, Executive Director of MMPF.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.