Dear Incoming Student

As you likely know, on Tuesday, February 1, Bridgewater College was visited by profound and unspeakable tragedy when two members of our campus family were senselessly and violently taken from us. As a student planning to join us at Bridgewater College, you, too, are part of our family, and I wanted to reach out to you personally.

Campus Police Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson were shot and killed on campus while protecting us. They were beloved by students, faculty, and staff. Along with the rest of the campus community, I’m dealing with the grief and sorrow that follows a tragedy. This week, though, that sorrow was muted just a bit as students, faculty, staff, alumni, and local community members gathered together on the Campus Mall to sing the College song, “Bridgewater Fair.” That song has been our alma mater for many decades and unites alumni from across the years. As we sang and hugged and mourned together, I was reminded of how the members of this community will always be present for each other and how much we truly care about one another.

February 1 was our darkest day, but we will stand together to see the sun come out again. We will rally around one another and support each other as we move forward from this day, because that is the Bridgewater way. This care and compassion for each other is one of our College’s greatest strengths. You will soon become part of this community of care and compassion, and we can’t wait for you to join us.

You or your families will likely have questions. To ensure they are attended to in a timely manner, our Vice President for Enrollment Management, Michael Post, is best equipped to answer them. You may contact him directly at any time at or 540-828-8014.


David W. Bushman, Ph.D.