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Identity Development and Cultural Appreciation

Bridgewater College is committed to the core value of equality that leads to a connected campus community.  We seek to engage the many voices and perspectives that exist within our community through programs and services.

Each member of our community is encouraged to share their perspective appropriately, thereby helping us to build a more inclusive and positive community that values every individual and group. At BC, we foster awareness, respect, understanding and cooperation among everyone.

Students are encouraged to engage with this office within student life to investigate their personal identity and expand current knowledge about other cultures. The Office of Identity Development and Cultural Appreciation is composed of the Center for Diversity Education and Advocacy, Spiritual Life and Personal Growth, as well as Student Retention and Success Services.

Center for Diversity Education and Advocacy

The Center for Diversity Education and Advocacy creates meaningful opportunities for all BC students, faculty, staff and community. Together, we can share, learn and grow in understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and similarities.   We all share in the work of creating and supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive campus community.  The College provides several strategies to promote equity and inclusion throughout campus to encourage a more diverse community.

Spiritual Life

Bridgewater College is historically affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, a Christian denomination focused on the core values of equality, community, simplicity, service and peace. As one of six colleges historically affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, Bridgewater seeks to honor its spiritual heritage while welcoming students of all religious traditions and spiritual perspectives as part of an open, inclusive, and diverse learning community.

Prospective first year and transfer students who are members of the Church of the Brethren are eligible for scholarships. Nine percent of the student body is Brethren, the highest percentage of Brethren students among the six colleges historically affiliated with the church.

Located in the Shenandoah District of the Church of the Brethren, there are many local Brethren congregations that welcome the involvement of Bridgewater students, with the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren within walking distance of campus.
The College chaplain oversees the spiritual life program and offers spiritual guidance and support to all members of the campus community. No matter what you believe, you are welcome here.

Student Retention and Success Services

We are here to support student success so that you stay on track towards graduation. The student retention and success services provide support for students who prefer a support network or additional resources to navigate the campus. Our Eagle Success program and student organizations are great strategies for students to be connected on campus.

Eagle Success

Eagle Success is a student success program for high-need students who benefit from additional support from peers and academic professionals. The purpose of Eagle Success is to ease student transition from home to living and adjusting to hopefully retain students who may find challenges with developing a connection to the campus community. Eagle Success mentors will help new students ease the transition to Bridgewater College by exposing first year Eagles to resources in the community. For questions about this program contact our team at

Inter-Cultural Advisory Council

The Inter-Cultural Advisory Council (IAC) promotes ideas that strongly encourage a welcoming environment.  The council is a small group of faculty, staff and administrators who discuss trending issues and campus concerns to provide a foundation for more sensitive and informed interactions and to increase inclusivity across the college.

Student Leadership Development and Conference Opportunities

Bridgewater College Diversity Association Memberships

Additional Learning Opportunities at BC

Convocations and Endowed Lectures
Past Speakers

  • Judy Smith, leading crisis communication strategist and inspiration for ABC’s hit television show Scandal
  • Cornel West, an American philosopher, academic, social activist, author, public intellectual and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
  • The Honorable Lawrence Webb, a member of the City of Falls Church School Board, on “Peace and Justice: Finding Common Ground”
  • Harrisonburg Mayor Christopher B. Jones and President of the Harrisonburg NAACP, on the legacy and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Dr. Amy Tillerson-Brown, historian and Associate Professor at Mary Baldwin College, on “Black Lives Matter”


  • Selma
  • Two Spirits
  • Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
  • Rosa Parks
  • Philadelphia

Gender-Neutral Restrooms

The College seeks to be a supportive, respectful learning environment and place for all.  As such, we offer numerous gender-neutral, single-occupant restrooms throughout campus.

  • Cole Hall (2 on lower level)
  • Daleville Hall (1 on first floor)
  • Dillon Hall (1 on first floor)
  • Geisert Hall (1 on first floor, ADA accessible)
  • Memorial Hall (2 on first floor, ADA accessible)
  • Nininger Hall (2 on main floor near coaches’ offices)
  • Wampler Towers (1 in common room of each building, ADA accessible)
  • Wright-Heritage Link (2 in Crimson Café and 2 on top floor, ADA accessible)
  • Yount Hall (2 on first floor, ADA accessible)

Non-Discrimination Policy

The College does not support harassment or discrimination of any forms.  Members and visitors should be aware of our non-discrimination policy by clicking: Non-Discrimination Notice