The Bethany House was built circa 1860 for Joseph L. Basset. In 2017, the house became the residence of Bridgewater State University’s Office of Alumni & Development.
Mr. Basset was the owner of the Bridgewater Hotel, which resided near the corner of Summer Street and Central Square during the early 1860's. One of Mr. Basset's children, Josiah Gardner Basset, was a two-time graduate of BSU ("Bridgewater State Normal School" at the time); he graduated from the two-year program in 1870 and completed the "advanced class" (four-year program), graduating again in 1872. Ownership of the house passed to Josiah after the elder Mr. Basset died in 1896. Josiah, who became the "Master of the Bigelow School" in Boston, owned the house until his passing in 1915.
Other known owners of the house include Dr. John and Catherine Mulligan who lived there until 1968 and created a medical office in the house. In the 1970's The Bethany Bookstore was located in the building, and Freedom and Mildred Wentworth lived in the house through 1998. From 1998 to 2016, the house became the corporate office of the Chase Corporation, and Mr. Peter Chase, a former trustee of BSU, arranged the sale of the building to the university.
On October 12, 2018, the house was officially renamed as the "John W. Jones, '62, G'66 & Martha D. Jones, '64, Alumni House."
The building was named in honor of Dean Emerita Martha Drinkwater Jones, class of 1964, and Professor Emeritus John W. Jones, class of 1962, graduate class of 1966, who across their more than 80 years combined of academic, professional and volunteer service to Bridgewater State University, and, specifically, to the Bridgewater State University Alumni Association, exemplified with the greatest distinction the qualities expressed in Bridgewater’s motto, “Not to be Ministered unto, but to Minister.”
Dean Emerita Jones returned to her alma mater in 1966 as Assistant Dean of Women and over the next 36 years served the university in increasingly significant positions, including Acting Vice President of Student Affairs. In recognition of her outstanding service as a senior member of the university’s administration, as a long-time, part-time instructor in the university’s College of Education and Allied Studies, and for her dedication to students and excellence in teaching, the Martha D. Jones Award for Outstanding Dedication to Students was created. Martha was a founding member of the university’s Foundation Board and also served for many years on the executive board of the Bridgewater Alumni Association, including three terms as President.
Professor Emeritus John “Jack” Jones served as Professor of Elementary Education in the College of Education and Allied Studies from 1969 to 2003. Prior to his appointment to the faculty, Professor Emeritus Jones served for five years as the Assistant Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. He also has devoted more than four decades of service to the Bridgewater State University Alumni Association as a member of its executive board and as President of the association.
Professor Emeritus Jones and Dean Emerita Jones were married for more than forty years and both continued long into retirement to contribute their time, talent and energy to furthering the interests of the university and especially its alumni association.
Professor Emeritus Jones subsequently established the John W. Jones and Martha D. Jones College Advancement Fund to help support the university’s most urgent needs, with special interest in supporting internships for students.