Merriam-Webster defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” I believe that a liberal arts education cultivates an entrepreneurial spirit by its very nature. Certainly, we are preparing our students for entrepreneurship by equipping them with the skills, the knowledge and the habits of mind that lead to creative and successful lives. It is through the sort of education offered at Bridgewater that students develop the skills to organize and synthesize information. They are taught to integrate coursework in multiple disciplines with the learning opportunities that take place in the residence halls and on the playing fields, and, all the while, they are making connections between the different parts of their BC Experience. They are taking advantage of numerous opportunities to manage others and work with and lead their peers, skills that serve our graduates well no matter what their professional goal.
And yet, success as an entrepreneur is about more than being an organized leader who takes risks. It’s about innovation. It’s about noticing a problem and figuring out a way to solve it. It’s about realizing when something is missing or needed and determining how to fill that need. The stories in this issue are proof positive that BC has long been cultivating an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit in its students. And with the programs of the Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership and the growth in engagement with undergraduate research through The Research Experience @ Bridgewater, we are poised to further expand these skills in our current students. By offering opportunities such as these for problem-solving, teamwork, leadership and research—opportunities that in many cases will guide our students along a career path shaped by their own creativity—we help prepare the next generation of leaders who will engage the challenges of our time in innovative ways.
In the pages of this issue, you’ll get a closer look at a handful of entrepreneurial alumni. The impact they’ve had on their communities varies widely—from building multimillion-dollar hospitals to putting smiles on the faces of area children craving a scoop of ice cream. We are proud of each of them and the ways in which they enrich the lives of those around them. Their accomplishments inspire hope in me, and I can’t wait to see what comes next for them and for all of our graduates.
With best regards,
David W. Bushman, Ph.D.