The Center is the administrative home for academic programs designed to facilitate and promote inter-and non-disciplinary student engagement. Student engagement is defined by enthusiastic, creative participation in practices that apply knowledge and skills to challenges. By finding connections between existing programs and developing new ones, the Center works to build opportunities for students to experience and appreciate the joys of a Bridgewater liberal arts education. The Center houses the Zane D. Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership, the Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peacebuilding, the Wade Institute for Teaching and Learning and the Margaret Grattan Weaver Institute for Local History and Culture. These institutes, all backed by endowments, provide resources for programming designed to cultivate a culture of engaged learning. In addition, the Center facilitates the missions of the Foundations in the Liberal Arts (FILA) general education program, the Flory Honors Program, the Office of Career Services, the Office of Study Abroad, the Office of Community Engagement and Sustainability, and the Endowed Lectures program.
Zane D. Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership
The Zane D. Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership offers opportunities for students to develop into outstanding leaders—on campus and in the “real world.” Developing leadership involves honing skills in four major focus areas: academic, student life, research and community involvement. The myriad opportunities are linked by a common theme: ethical leadership. The College seeks to create leaders who will make the world a better place, taking what they’ve learned as undergraduates and implementing it as alumni.
Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peacebuilding
The Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peacebuilding advocates the study and understanding of peace and justice issues in communities ranging from the local to the global. The Institute brings guests to campus who are involved with the analysis, promotion and practice of peacebuilding around the world. It supports exciting course offerings in the realm of peace studies. It also encourages students to get involved in activities and organizations—both on and off campus, and both nearby and internationally—that deal with such themes as conflict resolution, nonviolence, interfaith dialogue and environmental sustainability.
Wade Institute for Teaching and Learning
The Wade Institute for Teaching and Learning develops and implements initiatives designed to improve faculty teaching and enhance student learning. The Wade Institute ensures that the college remains on the forefront of innovative pedagogy and the use of best practices in order to strengthen teaching and learning across all the disciplines. It also supports faculty peer mentoring, summer research fellowships for students, pedagogical development for faculty, and teaching and learning initiatives both in and out of the traditional classroom.
Margaret Grattan Weaver Institute for Regional Culture
The Margaret Grattan Weaver Institute for Regional Culture promotes both student and faculty research in regional culture. Its interdisciplinary focus empowers students and established scholars from a wide range of departments, programs and perspectives to study the broad canvas of life in the Shenandoah Valley.
The endowed lecture program brings to Bridgewater College nationally renowned speakers and best-selling authors who address issues of the day and share their experiences with the campus and local community.