Bridgewater, Va. – The Psalmist rejoiced that the “lines have fallen to me in pleasant places” (Psalm 16:6). This captures my thoughts about where I belong at Bridgewater College.
Thankfully, I fit in almost everywhere at Bridgewater. Of course, I do not belong in the dorms or locker rooms—that would be silly—but I am blessed to have friends in almost every other nook and cranny on campus. This is my thirty-second year at Bridgewater, and I belong as much as ever.
Most obviously, I belong to academic life at Bridgewater. Leading a class of curious and thoughtful students in a discussion of history, an intrinsically fascinating field, is pure pleasure. There is nothing better. Outside the classroom, I write about history, which provides an opportunity to learn new things and to be creative, a delightful way to spend the good old summertime. Both teaching and writing are very pleasant places.
My numerous friends across the campus also help me to belong. I am deeply thankful for my colleagues in the Department of History and Political Science. Though remarkably diverse and of different generations, we get along wonderfully and avoid the petty quarrels, animosities and jealousies for which campuses are so famous. Rather than a team of rivals, we are close and I enjoy belonging to this team of friends.
Other places are just as pleasant. One of the joys of Bridgewater is knowing people in a variety of roles and discovering their perspective. As a participant in the band program, for example, I learn much and enjoy my relationships with students and faculty, both of whom welcome me.
Additional Bridgewater friends wear all sorts of hats: faculty in other departments, administrators, coaches, librarians, returning alums and staff in numerous offices. Recognizing athletes as my students adds to the experience of sports events. Clearly, my campus-wide list of friends helps me belong.
Pleasant places, indeed.
Steve Longenecker, Professor of History & Political Science