Roughly 150 alumni from Cape Cod filled a dining room at The Club at New Seabury in Mashpee to hear the latest news from President Dana Mohler-Faria. It was an afternoon of celebrating the past and looking ahead to a future likely dominated by much change.
Dr. Brenda Molife, vice president of advancement, welcomed the guests by recapping recent some developments and achievements at BSU, including the new Institute for Cape Verdean Studies, the success of the paid-internship program, and work being done on several fronts in the name of social justice.
“It’s all due to the support of you and others who know the value of a great education,” Dr. Molife said.
President Mohler-Faria then took the alumni on a short trip down Memory Lane, reminding them how far the institution has come in the past quarter century. No matter how daunting the challenges once were, he said, “The core remained. The faculty, students and alumni held Bridgewater together.” He credited former President Adrian Tinsley for putting the pieces in place that would enable BSU to become what it is today, “clearly the flagship of the state university system,” the president said.
As to why he is retiring, the president said, “It’s time.” He added that he’d accomplished what he wanted and that it was time to slow down. The time is right, he said, for new leadership.
“It’s been an incredible experience, but it takes a toll,” he said.
When talk turned to the new Cape Cod facility opening in January, the president said he has long felt the region to be underserved. Three years ago, he began the process of what became the plan to bring BSU to Yarmouth.
“Over time, it will expand and grow and be responsive to the needs of the Cape,” the president said. During the Q and A section of the program, the new local facility was the main topic of interest.
In closing, President Mohler-Faria extolled the virtues of BSU, its people and its history. It all adds up to one goal, he said: “It’s about changing lives and changing the world, and that’s what your university has become.”
During the Q and A period, Jim Argir, ’61, stood and thanked the president for his years of leadership. The remarks drew a standing ovation.
The president closed by reminding the gathered alumni, “You are part of something great, and Bridgewater will always be in my blood.” (Story and photos by John Winters, G ’11, University News)