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COVID-19: Board of Trustees Letter of Gratitude to BSU Community

Dear campus community,

On April 16, 2020, the Bridgewater State University Board of Trustees formally and unanimously approved a letter from Chairman Eugene J. Durgin, Jr., to be sent to President Frederick Clark, Jr., and, through him, to the entire campus community.

Below please find Chairman Durgin’s letter, sent on behalf of the entire Board of Trustees.


Tracey Keif
Staff Assistant
Board of Trustees

April 17, 2020


Frederick W. Clark, Jr., Esq.
Bridgewater State University
131 Summer Street
Bridgewater, MA 02325

Dear President Clark,

At the April 16, 2020 teleconference meeting of the Bridgewater State University Board of Trustees, it was unanimously decided that the Trustees forward the following communication to you and, through you, to the entire campus community.

In the past two months, Bridgewater State University has faced a crisis unprecedented in its history and one that has altered every element of how it delivers on its mission of providing the highest quality education to students. The task and challenge of leadership was to respond decisively and comprehensively to the safety and health of the entire campus community, while developing and implementing comprehensive plans to serve those that have entrusted to BSU their education and their professional lives and livelihoods.

For responding to those challenges and the innumerable complexities embedded in each in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, mindful of the impacts that every serious problem presented, the Board of Trustees wishes to confer its highest accolades, without reservation, to you, to the leadership of all campus constituencies, and to every member of the campus community.

Although we are still in the midst of this global health crisis, which presents extraordinary impediments to the operation of the university, it is appropriate to reflect on how BSU has responded to these myriad disruptions. It has done so in a spirit of collaboration, of caring for the well-being of all, and with a commitment to acceding to the very highest standards of excellence. That unwavering dedication has been on full display during these unfortunate weeks.

When we consider what BSU has achieved in just a matter of weeks, it is truly remarkable and a testament to the leadership of the university and to the dedication of each and every member of the campus community. Working together, you converted all classes to online; shifted most of the workforce to telecommuting; moved thousands of students out of residence halls while caring for those with hardships who are continuing to live on our campus; managed through enormous financial challenges; credited and refunded thousands of students for unutilized room, meal plan and parking costs; seamlessly delivered academic, health care, safety, technology, and financial supports and services; and communicated to all members of the BSU community with clarity and compassion. What is perhaps most remarkable, albeit not surprising for those of us who have witnessed for years how this university works, is that our students, faculty, librarians, staff and leadership have rolled up their sleeves to do their jobs with a can-do spirit and not nearly a complaint. No one asked for this but every one of you do what needs to be done to serve all students, one student at a time.

We do specifically want to single out our resilient students. A hearty "well done" to you for adapting to these difficult circumstances and for continuing to care for your fellow Bears in times of need. You are the superstars of this university and the example you set impels all of us to go the extra mile to ensure that your educational opportunities remain at the highest level of excellence.

We hope you all take enormous pride in those efforts of accomplishment and mutual support. Your efforts have been recognized and admired by each member of the Board of Trustees. You have our deepest gratitude.

Finally, let us as a Board of Trustees, entrusted with overall responsibility for the university, express our firm hope that you consider us a part of the BSU team, a full partner in the tasks of getting the university back from the uncertainties of the moment and returning fully to the flourishing university which so beautifully serves our students, our state, our nation and indeed our world.

With Godspeed,

Eugene J. Durgin, Jr.