It’s hard to feel anything but joy when one is constantly surrounded by young people so full of hope, so full of promise, and so eager to change this world for the better.
Service has long been at the heart of what I call the Bridgewater Way. While proof of this lives on in the university’s motto, “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister,” it does likewise in the actions of today’s Bears. In these pages, you will learn about alumni and students who exemplify the words of BSU’s heartfelt creed.
Paul Monti, ’70, is a prime example. We were saddened to learn of the passing of this Gold Star Father, whose son Jared was killed in Afghanistan attempting to save members of his battalion during a hellacious firefight. Jared Monti is a certifiable American hero, awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in 2009. Paul Monti became well known in his own right following his son’s death, advocating on behalf of veterans on a variety of fronts. It is with great pride that we share the story of this great American dad, especially during the same month we celebrate Veterans Day.
Kellie Irvin, ’23, also exemplifies the university’s motto. Knowing that the one-two punch of the pandemic and inflation have left many wanting, she started her own food pantry in her hometown of Medford. Meanwhile, we celebrate more than a dozen years of the Bridgewater Scholars program, a groundbreaking initiative through which the university provides free tuition and room and board for young people experiencing homelessness. We check in with a trio of the program’s 13 graduates, who have now embarked on successful lives of their own and are certain to help others along the way, just as they were helped.
These stories resonate particularly in times like these. While the daily news keeps up its dismal drumbeat of depressing headlines, it’s good to know that these beacons of hope and light are out there. Their actions remind us that in challenging times making a difference can be difficult, but the dividends are all the greater.
This issue also features stories about faculty research, STEM-related outreach, and news about the many people and programs that make BSU the unique place it is.
Along with these compelling stories, what also lifts my spirits is seeing the students return to campus each September. I look out my office window across the quadrangle and see their eager faces as they make their way to class for the first time, or as they gather in the Bear’s Den with the new friends they’ve made. It’s hard to feel anything but joy when one is constantly surrounded by young people so full of hope, so full of promise, and so eager to change this world for the better.
This is also part of the Bridgewater Way, and it’s wonderful to see the students of today continuing the tradition.
With warmest regards,
President Frederick W. Clark Jr.