Bridgewater College

Bridgewater College

name = Bridgewater College

image_size = 139px
motto = College of Character, Community of Excellence
established = 1880
type = Private, liberal arts
affiliation = Church of the Brethren
endowment = $61.5cite web
url =
title = All Institutions Listed by FY 2006 Market Value of Endowment Assets With Percent Change Between 2006 and 2007 Endowment Assets
accessdate = 2008-06-03
format = HTML
publisher = NACUBO

] million
president = Dr. Phillip C. Stone
city = Bridgewater
state = Virginia
country = USA
undergrad = 1,541
faculty = 127
nickname = Eagles
colors =Crimson and Vegas Gold
color box|#DC143C color box|#C7A317
athletics =NCAA Division III, Old Dominion Athletic Conference
website= []

Bridgewater College, is a private, coeducational, four-year liberal-arts college historically affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. The college is located in Bridgewater, Virginia, a town in Rockingham County, Virginia, United States. Established in 1880, Bridgewater College is the first co-educational four-year college in Virginiacite web
url =
title = Bridgewater College - About Us
accessdate = 2008-06-03
format = HTML
publisher = Bridgewater College

] .

Nestled in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley, Bridgewater's convert|190|acre|km2|sing=on campus features buildings with a modified Georgian architectural style. cite web
url =
title = FastWeb College Detail - Bridgewater College
accessdate = 2008-06-04
format = HTML
publisher = FastWeb, LLC

] . The college enrolls just over 1,500 students (57% female, 43% male) with guaranteed on-campus housing. cite web
url =
title = Peterson's Bridgewater College - College overview
accessdate = 2008-06-04
format = HTML
publisher = Peterson's, A Nelnet Company

] Bridgewater College is one of six charter member colleges affiliated with Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA).

Bridgewater is an NCAA Division III school competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The college fields varsity teams in ten men's and twelve women's sports. In 2001, the Bridgewater College football team finished the season as national runner-up after a 30-27 loss to Mount Union in the Stagg Bowl NCAA Division III National Football Championship.

"U.S. News & World Report"'s annual "America's Best Colleges" rankings placed Bridgewater on the fourth tier of Liberal Arts Colleges.

Past and present

Bridgewater College was established in 1880 as Spring Creek Normal and Collegiate Institute by Daniel Christian Flory, an alumnus of the University of Virginia and a young progressive leader in the Church of the Brethren. Nine years later, the school was named Bridgewater College and chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia to grant undergraduate degrees. Bridgewater conferred its first Bachelor of Arts degree on June 1, 1891, becoming the first of the colleges having historic associations with the Church of the Brethren to grant degrees.

Organized as a residential college, the founders believed that students living together over a four-year period would learn from one another as well as the faculty. Students would be exposed to varied views and opinions, different cultures, and have opportunities to develop deeper understandings beyond their own. The founders also surmised that successive student bodies would develop self-perpetuating traditions, and that would be educational in itself.

Two major influences, the University of Virginia and the Church of the Brethren, have shaped Bridgewater College as an educational institution and created its personality. Its historic association with the Church of the Brethren, modified Georgian architecture, Honor Code, and seal depicting truth, beauty, goodness, and harmony bear testimony to the strength of these two shaping influences.

Bridgewater College became the first private, senior co-educational liberal arts college in Virginia and one of the few accredited colleges of its type in the South. The emphasis on ethical and spiritual values in educational programs is a result of Bridgewater’s heritage and institutional idealism. The importance placed on these values can be seen through course offerings and convocation programs that encourage personal integrity and strong social consciousness.

Today, Bridgewater College enrolls over 1,540 men and women. Electing to keep its enrollment small, Bridgewater continues to maintain a faculty-student ratio of 1:15 and offers the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Bridgewater is a charter member of Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA). Through BCA, select students have the opportunity to spend all or part of their junior year at one of 19 campuses in 16 countries. These countries include Australia, Belgium, China, Cuba, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and Wales.


Bridgewater College is located in the Shenandoah Valley, a scenic and historic region in Virginia. The Allegheny Mountains to the west and the Blue Ridge chain to the east are both visible from the campus. Old Stone and Mossy Creek Presbyterian churches and the Cross Keys and Piedmont Civil War battlefields are just a few miles from the campus. Many houses in the town of Bridgewater are 140 years or older. The Bridgewater campus comprises convert|190|acre|km2, and the educational activities are focused on the primary campus of 40 acres on which are located Bridgewater’s complex of buildings of different periods and styles of architecture.


Bridgewater College is a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and follows guidelines and policies set forth by this governing body. The teams are members of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), which has 14 member institutions.

Bridgewater College sponsors 21 varsity programs, which include baseball, basketball, Men's cross country,football, golf, soccer, tennis, indoor track, and outdoor track for men, and basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, riding, softball, soccer, tennis, indoor track, outdoor track, volleyball and swimming for women. Additionally, the athletic program supports cheerleading, a dance team and pep band, which perform at home football and basketball games.

The Equestrian team has consistently been one of the top teams in the Zone 4 Region 2 of the IHSA, having won the title in 2006. The team won the ODAC championship in 2007 as well under highly respected coach, Sarah Irvine who won the Coach of the Year title. Numerous riders have placed and won at the Regional, Zone, and National show.Fact|date=July 2008

The Bridgewater College Football team won 5 consecutive ODAC Championships from 2001-2005, under Head Coach Michael Clark. In 2001, the team made the school's first ever national championship game by playing in the NCAA Division III national championship, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. [ [ AMOS ALONZO STAGG BOWL - NCAA Division III Football Championship - Salem, Virginia ] ]

Events and tradition

Annual events at Bridgewater College celebrate tradition, community, alumni, and culture. Founder's Day observance at Bridgewater commemorates the April 3, 1854, birth of Daniel Christian Flory, who began Spring Creek Normal School, later Bridgewater College in 1889, at the young age of 26. In 2008, civil rights activist Andrew Jackson Young, Jr. was honored in the Carter Center for Worship and Music to celebrate the 128th anniversary of the college. President Philip C. Stone awarded Young a Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, "honoris causa", in recognition for his devoted service to mankind and his country. cite web
url ='s%20day.html
title = Bridgewater College Press Release
accessdate = 2008-06-04
format = HTML
publisher = Bridgewater College, Office of Media Relations


Other annual events include the "Spring Fest Carnival" and the "May Day Dance" held at the end of the year. Recently, a popular event called "BC Idol" has become an annual tradition, appropriately modeled after the Fox reality show "American Idol," only with the vocal talents of Bridgewater's students. cite web
url =
title = Student Life - Campus Activities
accessdate = 2008-06-04
format = HTML
publisher = Bridgewater College


There are also a few longstanding traditions held independent of the college by members of the student body. Since 1965, students of the college gather before the week of final exams in April for a camping trip in Pendleton County, West Virginia in the George Washington National Forest. It has been rumored that past attendees included alumnus and college President, Dr. Philip Stone, and other faculty members who are also Bridgewater alumni. The event is widely known among students as "Flagpole," although the name and destination are the focus of legend among the student body.

The week before graduation is known "Senior Week" at the college. During this week Seniors spend time together for the last time before graduation with many organized events. "Oracle at the Oak" was a tradition originally carried out by the Senior class during the early-to-mid 1900s underneath an Oak tree on campus. Students met to pledge their dedication not only to the school, but to each other in a honor of community and friendship. After the damaged Oak tree was removed from campus grounds, the tradition subsided. However, the Class of 2008 recently re-kindled this tradition with the help of the Bridgewater Alumni Association. The end of Senior week is marked with the Senior Ball, a formal event taking place at Spotswood Country Club, in Harrisonburg, VA. cite web
url =
title = Bridgewater Alumni News - May 2008
accessdate = 2008-06-04
format = HTML
publisher = Bridgewater College


Notable alumni

*George Steven Agee, Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia
*Pasco Middleton Bowman II, Senior federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
*David Branshaw, PGA Golfer, Nationwide Tour
*Moses H. W. Chan, Physicist cite news
title = Prof. Moses H. W. Chan @ Penn State Physics
url =
work = Penn State Official Website
date = Unknown
accessdate = 2008-06-3
*Barry Davis, Head Coach, Rider University Baseball cite news
title = Rider University - Barry Davis
url =
work = Rider University Official Website
date = Unknown
accessdate = 2008-06-3
*Wolfgang Drechsler, German social scientist and government adviser
*Phil Eyler, Canadian politician
*Jacob A. Garber, U.S. Representative, 1929-1931 cite news
title = Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
url =
work = US Congress BioGuide
date = Unknown
accessdate = 2008-06-3
*Nathan H. Miller, Republican politician
*Olza M. Nicely, CEO & Chairman of GEICO
*Richard D. Obenshain, Republican politician
*James M. Stayer, historian

Notable Faculty

*Carl Bowman, 1988-2007, American sociologist, and expert of social and cultural history of the Church of the Brethren.
*James M. Stayer, Historian, Specialized in the German Reformation.


External links

* [ Official website]

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