David W. Bushman

President at Bridgewater College

An accomplished academic leader, Dr. David W. Bushman draws upon his extensive experience in higher education administration and in the classroom as President of Bridgewater College. Dr. Bushman became the College’s ninth president in 2013.

During his time at Bridgewater, President Bushman led the development of new academic and co-curricular programs at the College, including the creation of the Center for Engaged Learning, academic schools to support the College’s academic departments in the creation of new majors and programs of study, May Term, a new advising structure for first-year students, and Eagles Engage—a student life curriculum that is focused on learning and growth outside the classroom. Dr. Bushman oversaw the College’s launch of graduate programs, with BC’s first master’s degree program in 2017. Many of the goals in that plan are underway or have already reached completion under Dr. Bushman’s direction, including the development and launch of a new brand, messaging platform, and marketing plan for the College, as well as the undertaking of a Strategic Resource Allocation process by which the College collectively determined which programs to prioritize and expand in the coming years.

In his time at the helm, Dr. Bushman has successfully piloted the rejuvenation and expansion of the campus physical plant, including the creation of a centralized Department of Student Life and student gathering space in the Kline Campus Center and, most notably, the planning and construction of the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons. President Bushman has been an active leader in fundraising initiatives throughout his tenure at Bridgewater College, securing over $55 million in philanthropic support for Nininger Hall, endowed scholarships, high-impact learning practices (such as The Research Experience @ Bridgewater), and the complete reimagining of the library to become the John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons.

While at BC, President Bushman has served in leadership capacities in a variety of higher education groups including Chair of the Council of Independent Colleges of Virginia and Chair of the President’s Council of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).

Dr. Bushman came to BC in June 2013 from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. where he was the founding dean of the university’s School of Natural Science and Mathematics. In this role, he oversaw numerous academic programs and new academic program development as well as strategic and communications planning and fundraising for the school.

Prior to leading Mount St. Mary’s School of Natural Science and Mathematics, Dr. Bushman served as President of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C. While at Lees-McRae, Dr. Bushman oversaw the college’s successful bid for re-affirmation of accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and developed and implemented a new strategic plan for the institution. During his time at the helm, Lees-McRae engaged in a number of significant campus renovation projects, implemented curricular and co-curricular enhancements, and increased its first-year student retention rate significantly.

Before joining Lees-McRae in 2004, Dr. Bushman served in a variety of roles at Mount St. Mary’s, including Dean of Academic Services, Director of Assessment, Chair of the Department of Science and Associate Professor of Biology. Dr. Bushman earned his bachelor of science in biology summa cum laude from Loyola College in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Maryland with both his master of science and doctorate in entomology. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Bushman worked for several years in private industry as a research biologist and research fellow. He has been published in the field of entomology as well as undergraduate science education.

Dr. Bushman and his wife, Suzanne DeLaney Bushman, have two children, Emily and Will. Suzanne was raised in Virginia and has spent her career in healthcare, as a pediatric intensive care nurse for 17 years and, most recently, in an outpatient surgery unit. In their spare time, the Bushmans enjoy spending time on the water at their getaway on Virginia’s Northern Neck. Dr. Bushman also appreciates cycling and astronomy.


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