Back to school with Bridgewater and Bridgewater

Bridgewater is the name of our town and it’s the name of our retirement community. It’s also the appellation of our next-door neighbor, Bridgewater College. As we welcome students to school, we thought we’d reflect on the deep connection we share with the college.

Two large communities in a small town

In addition to our proximity to one another, both Bridgewater College (BC) and Bridgewater Retirement Community (BRC) have outsized impacts on the economy and community of the Town of Bridgewater. We share a deep, friendly connection to one another, with retirees and students often mixing on our campuses.

As we’ve reported, BC students are regulars at BRC, volunteering and chatting with our residents. The Student Athlete Advisory Council is often here hosting mixer events, with BC athletes getting to know residents. And BRC residents are fans of Bridgewater College’s sports teams and can be spotted cheering at games. They attend lectures, art events, and theater performances. BRC residents can even use the college library.

Shared heritage and people

In previous articles, we’ve discussed BRC’s founding by the Church of the Brethren and how it shapes our values. Did you know the Brethrens also founded Bridgewater College? The core values that drive both our communities means we speak the same language and share the same ideals.

Both BC and BRC have also shared people. Quite a few of our residents attended Bridgewater College. That’s not surprising, as many people choose a retirement community based on connections. Sometimes, it’s nearby family. Sometimes, it’s a church affiliation. And sometimes, it’s because they draw on a connection they made when they were young—as a student or alum. We’ve also welcomed Bridgewater faculty as residents. We think it speaks volumes about the appeal of the region that BC alumni look for a reason to return while Bridgewater faculty look for a reason to stay.

Two-way street

The connection between Bridgewater College and Bridgewater Retirement Community is literally a two-way street. (Even though we’re adjacent to one another, we provide transportation to events on the college campus for seniors.) The students have impressed our residents with their warmth and volunteer spirit. They helped build our greenhouse, and some of the college students have “adopted” residents in nursing households and the memory support house, helping out and keeping them company. Likewise, BRC residents are always ready with wisdom and a listening ear, helping students with homesickness and the sometimes scary world of adulthood. Being a surrogate “grandparent” is a pleasure to seniors and a boon to students.

Bridgewater College and Bridgewater Retirement Community are happy to be great neighbors in a welcoming town. We wouldn’t have it any other way.