"Now more than ever, the world needs forward-thinking individuals attuned to the social injustices of this world and armed with the desire and know-how necessary to change things for the better."
There are times I look out the windows of my office and take in the green grass of the Boyden Quad, the hurried pace of students heading to class and the blue sky unfolding over our beautiful campus. The sights invoke feelings of nostalgia, harkening back to the days when I was a student here. They also invoke the feeling of excitement, of being in the moment, with the vast unknown of the future beckoning. For, if nothing else, Bridgewater State University is a place that is always on the move.
As I write this, COVID-19 appears to be transitioning from a deadly disease to one that is manageable, thanks to available vaccines and new treatments.
In mid-May, the country reached the grim milestone of one-million Americans having died from the coronavirus. Here at Bridgewater, our hyper-vigilance, which included a comprehensive testing program and a long list of safety protocols, clearly paid dividends. Thanks to the diligence and sacrifices of students, faculty, librarians and administrators – especially members of the Wellness Center and its many volunteers – BSU maintained a low infection rate throughout, keeping people safe and minimizing as much as possible impacts to teaching and learning. The university’s mask mandate was finally relaxed in the spring semester, and it was wonderful to see smiling faces on campus once again.
Lest we feel like celebrating a return to normalcy, the world outside BSU’s borders reminds us what an incredibly complex place it is as it grows more challenging by the day.
In late February, Russia attacked Ukraine, turning major cities to rubble and indiscriminately killing hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians. The specter of nuclear war also hovers, as the world turns against Russian President Vladimir Putin and the inhumane violence he is inflicting.
While Russia was attacking its neighbor, Americans here at home deal with inflation, threats to our democracy, and myriad other issues, large and small.
We live in interesting times, indeed.
Seeking a brighter perspective, I think once again of our students and the important roles they will fill in the coming years and decades. Now more than ever, the world needs forward-thinking individuals attuned to the social injustices of this world and armed with the desire and know-how necessary to change things for the better.
The students and alumni in the pages that follow represent yesterday’s trailblazers and tomorrow’s leaders. You will also encounter faculty members who are making a difference in the lives of their students, as well as programs, internships and other opportunities that together comprise the solid foundation that BSU graduates are known and celebrated for.
For me, this is the silver lining of the many dark clouds crowding our collective horizon. Indeed, reading about the accomplishments of Bears past and present always gives me cause to smile, even during times when the world seems determined to provoke just the opposite.
With warmest regards,
President Frederick W. Clark Jr.