Being a university reinforces what we are already doing. Bridgewater is an excellent undergraduate and graduate teaching university, with an emphasis on basic research. Globally, it will smooth the international collaboration process. It will improve our image with students, who won't have to go the extra mile to explain to graduate schools and employers what we are all about. As a university, we reinforce the research that is going on here and we will see more transition in collaboration with universities. From a grants perspective, it will strengthen our external recognition from both public and private entities, which we have already received from companies such as Google and Microsoft.
Bridgewater State has been a university in everything but name for many years. While there is no one universally held definition of a university, almost all American public institutions of higher education of our size (approximately 11,000 students) and scope (roughly 30 undergraduate majors and over 20 graduate programs) are called universities. Our new name, then, more accurately signifies for students, faculty and the general public the academic procession in which we march. It is a version of truth in advertising. Furthermore, "college" in many other countries means "high school." Hence the name change will help us to increase the already significant number of relationships with universities in other countries, something of great benefit to our students.
This is a terrific achievement for Southeastern Massachusetts and the entire Commonwealth. University status will add to the already exceptional value of a Bridgewater degree, allow our students and alumni to better compete for jobs, give us an advantage in recruiting the best faculty from national pools of candidates, and help the institution better attract private and federal grants.
In the context of a very challenging budget climate, as well as a harsh employment market for higher education graduates across the state and nation, we have been singularly motivated to secure every possible advantage for our state college students and graduates. The creation of the Massachusetts State University System as well as the name changes associated with the system for Bridgewater State and five more of our institutions will indeed help our students as they compete on the national and world economic stages. For my part, as a BSC alumnus and BSC parent, it has been a heartfelt honor to have worked with colleagues at Bridgewater State and across the system in making history as we proudly introduce Bridgewater State University.
I am proud to have received an education from Bridgewater State College - an education which took place both in and out of the classroom. I am elated that I may now refer to this institution as a university. As a recent alumna, I feel this change in title will help me with my future career endeavors. I believe that Bridgewater State not only has the core structure of a university through academics, scholarship and research, but also the passion of so many dedicated faculty and staff. During my time spent as Student Trustee I was able to witness firsthand the tireless efforts of gaining university status and I am thrilled Bridgewater is receiving the recognition it deserves!
Last Modified: July 27, 2010