Bridgewater College Class of 2022 graduates, celebrates connections

Published: May. 7, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) - On Saturday morning, the class of 2022 walked across the stage and got their diplomas at Bridgewater College.

“Being here with everybody it makes it that much more special to be able to be here as a community and as a class and be able to graduate with our professors and our friends,” Taylor Corbin, a 2022 Bridgewater College graduate said.

This class faced hardships over the last four years.

“We’re celebrating not just your accomplishments but your resiliency in the face of heartache and our shared strength in a time of turmoil. We are, today, more than any other commencement in the college’s history celebrating our connections,” Bridgewater College President Dr. David Bushman said in his commencement address.

This class had their normalcy taken away from them when the pandemic hit which impacted nearly half of their college experience

”It means a lot considering like some of our friends who graduated the previous years didn’t get a graduation, so it was really cool to be able to be here with all my friends and graduate in person,” Corbin said.

In addition to the pandemic, the students also endured tragedy on campus.

“You’ve persevered through the challenges of a global pandemic and the aftermath of the tragic events of February 1st,” Bradley Hallock, President of the Bridgewater Alumni Association said in his speech to the Class of 2022.

The ceremony undoubtedly recognized and honored the lives of Bridgewater College officers John Painter and Vashon “J.J.” Jefferson who were killed in the line of duty on campus on February 1.

The class gift was a donation to the John Painter and Vashon “J.J.” Jefferson Memorial Student Support Fund.

“The best way to remember them is to understand ourselves what they so clearly knew that our lives are worth it,” Dr. Bushman said in his commencement speech.

Graduates said they were just happy they could celebrate this day together before life’s next chapter.

“How the community rallied around us and how we rallied around each other after all that happened was really special and I think it makes it even more special to be here together today,” Corbin said.

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