President [b]Dana Mohler-Faria[/b] welcomed seven state lawmakers to a legislative breakfast held in the Dunn Conference Center to apprise them of recent developments and future plans at the institution.[br][br]"This morning I'd like to share with you a progress report about this university, and I want to express to you, on behalf of all of us at Bridgewater, our gratitude to you in the legislature and to the other leaders at the state level who've had the faith and confidence to continue to support us, to allow us to grow and develop, by providing the resources we need," he said.[br][br]The president's presentation featured a number of recent pride points and a look to the future. They included:[br][br]-A $100 million dollar program which began in 2011 and will end in 2014 that will result in the construction of five new buildings, the renovation of 17 existing university buildings, and the relocation of twelve campus offices.[br]-Total student enrollment has grown 28 percent since 2000, from 8,839 students to 11,294, making BSU the eighth largest four-year college/university, public or private, in Massachusetts[br]-An increase of 63 percent in the number of degrees awarded since 2000[br]-The freshmen-sophomore retention rate - the percentage of first-year students who successfully move to the second year - has climbed to 82 percent, while nationally the average is 74 percent.[br]-An 88 percent increase in the number of resident students since 2000; with the addition of the newest residence hall there will be approximately 3,400 students residing on campus[br]-The university's first parking garage accommodating 841 cars is set to open, and the construction of a new 500-bed residence hall is due to begin next month.[br]-The number of full-time faculty has increased from 252 in 2000 to a current figure of 316[br][br]Among the state legislators in attendance for the event were: Senators [b]Thomas Kennedy[/b] (Brockton); [b]Marc Pacheco[/b] (Taunton); and Representatives [b]Antonio Cabral[/b] (New Bedford); [b]Robert Koczera[/b] (New Bedford); [b]Angelo D'Emilia[/b] (Bridgewater); [b]Michael Brady[/b] (Brockton); and [b]Geoff Diehl[/b] (Whitman). Staff members from the offices of state Sen. [b]Brian Joyce[/b] (Milton), state Reps. Louis Kafka (Sharon) and William Galvin (Canton), as well as U.S. Rep. Scott Brown, were also on hand.[br] [br]The program also featured remarks from [b]Fred Clark[/b], BSU's executive vice president and vice president for external affairs, and Rep. D'Emilia. Sen. Pacheco said, "This university is at the heart of my senatorial district and I've often said that this is the economic engine within this part of Southeastern Massachusetts which keeps everything rolling in the right direction. There are so many exciting learning opportunities here for the population who attend the college but also for the regional population."[br][br]Rep. D'Emilia added, "President Mohler-Faria and his team are doing wonderful work that is evident to all of us, and we who live in the town of Bridgewater are enormously grateful for the impact this university has on this community and all of the cities and towns of the region."[br][br]The final speaker of the morning was [b]Vincent Pedone[/b], the new executive officer of the Council of Presidents of the Massachusetts State University System. [br][br]Photo caption: In attendance at BSU Legislative Breakfast were, from left, Representative Antonio Cabral (New Bedford); Representative Robert Koczera (New Bedford); BSU President Dana Mohler-Faria; Representative Angelo D'Emilia (Bridgewater); Senator Thomas Kennedy (Brockton); Senator Marc Pacheco (Taunton); Representative Michael Brady (Brockton); and Representative Geoff Diehl (Whitman).[br][br](Story and photo by David K. Wilson, '71, Office of University Advancement).
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