The Bridgemans Are Investing In The Future Of PD

As a graduate, Board member, and prospective PDS parent, Walter Bridgeman ’79, has had the opportunity to see Providence Day’s past as well as envision its future.

While he fondly remembers his time on campus as a student, he also sees the need for change. He alludes to The Masters Augusta National as one example of a time-honored tradition that has updated their course many times. “One of the things that’s critical today is to be able to change and change the right way,” Walter explains. He believes that you can retain your core, yet change around that core. The change is necessary to preserve value. “If you don’t change, you’re not relevant,” said Walter.

Keeping a forward-thinking attitude is very important to Walter and his wife, Anne. They believe that considering what students will need to be successful in 2030, rather than what students need now, is how Providence Day stays relevant. As the father of five-year-old twins, Walter said, “If the school is thinking in those terms, that is forward thinking. That’s what I really liked [about the campaign].”

Walter and Anne both point out that money is required in order to achieve change and support forward-thinking ideas.

“Right now, even if we are preparing for 2030, we still have no idea of the technology or what the school’s needs will be,” Anne explains. “You have to have money to prepare for that.”

“You’ve got to invest,” Walter acknowledges. “The best time to plan was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. You’ve got to constantly invest.”

For the Bridgemans, the money is a necessary piece of the puzzle. In looking at the CHARGING forward campaign goals, Anne’s first priority is the endowment. “I’d like to see the longevity of the school. If we’re going to give, I want to make sure that the gift is going to be self-sustaining; it will go in perpetuity,” she says.

She also points to the money needed to attract and retain the best talent for the school’s faculty and staff as a way to have the best school and education opportunities. In order for the students to have what they need to be successful, it’s important for Providence Day to be a place of innovation, collaboration, and dynamic vision.

Walter feels confident that their contribution to the campaign will be used well.

“I know that I’m going to see a return on the investment,” he says. “It’s not going to go to extravagance. It is going to go where it’s intended to go, and that’s important.”

The Bridgeman’s trust in Providence Day’s leadership helps them feels secure in the school’s future.

Walter and Anne are the proud parents of twins, son Walter Jr. and daughter Sheppard.