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Bridgewater College speaker reminds graduates to take care of self, others

Bridgewater college graduation showing happy graduate
Image courtesy Bridgewater College

Bridgewater College recognized 282 undergraduate and 35 master’s students receiving degrees on Saturday during its 144th commencement ceremony.

The degrees were conferred by Dr. David W. Bushman, president of Bridgewater College.

“These are not easy times for higher education…. I wish the skeptics could be here today to see that the real value of higher education lives in the students who will soon walk across this stage and in their lives that you have helped transform,” said Bushman.

The students began their college career during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“August 2020 seems so long ago,” said D. Bruce Christian, board of trustees chair. “Now these four years have flown by as Bridgewater, and you persevered through the gyrations of COVID and other tumults, and both you and the college stand stronger today.”

Bushman and Dr. Leona A. Sevick, provost and executive vice president,  presented presidents’ medals to Dr. William E. Abshire, professor of philosophy and religion, emeritus, who is retiring from Bridgewater after 37 years of service, and Dr. Oskar Scheikl, former superintendent of Rockingham County Public Schools. The medal is awarded for distinguished service and a demonstrated commitment to the highest ideals of Bridgewater College and is inscribed with the college seal and the college’s ideals of goodness, truth, beauty and harmony.

Scheikl also served as the commencement speaker for 2024.

In his address, Scheikl urged graduates to take care of themselves so that they could take care of others and live life to the fullest.

“Focusing on self and service requires the realization that it’s not all about you and those close to you,” he said. “It’s about everyone.”

Among the 282 undergraduate students in the class of 2024, 139 earned bachelor of arts degrees and 143 earned bachelor of science degrees.

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.