The End of Bridgewater’s Endowed Lecture Program for Spring 2020

Lectures are Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Shut Down


Bridgewater College

Pictured is Jennifer Babcock, the director of endowed lectures and a professor in the Communication Studies and Theatre Department.

Cassidy Wagoner, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – The past week has been a whirlwind of events that has left Bridgewater College in a frenzy. In the late afternoon of March 16, students, faculty and staff received an email from President Bushman informing them that the remainder of the semester would be completed online. 

With the announcement that the remainder of the spring semester will be conducted online, all events on campus were cancelled. This includes endowed lectures, planned events that bring an individual to campus to deliver a keynote speech about their work and their experiences.

There were two upcoming endowed lectures scheduled for spring semester that were supposed to be held on March 19 and March 31. The speakers were Charlotte Clymer and Christine Todd Whitman, respectively. 

Clymer was planning to speak about her life as a transgender woman, a military veteran and press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. Whitman, who was administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency from 2001 to 2003, was going to have a conversation with Dr. Bushman entitled “The Shifting Environmental Policy-making Climate: Staying Ahead While Going Green.” 

Professor Jennifer Babcock, an instructor in the Communications Studies and Theatre Department, is also the director of the endowed lecture program. 

In addition to the main lecture, “faculty members across several departments were planning complementary activities and assignments associated with both of these speakers…so it’s a disappointment on many levels and others naturally may feel let down,” said Babcock. 

Regarding possibly rescheduling the lectures for a future year, Whitman’s lecture was cancelled with no plans to reschedule for the upcoming school year.

“Charlotte Clymer is located in Washington, DC, so it may be a easier to reschedule her in the future,” explained Babcock, who added that there are no commitments yet.