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Spirit and Traditions

We are the BSU Bears!

Bridgewater State University holds hundreds of events and programs each year for a wide range of audiences from students to faculty and staff to the entire Bridgewater community. From Kickoff to Commencement, there's a whole world of experiences to bring members of the community together in fun and engaging ways.


Engage BSU

Be sure to log on regularly to Engage BSU, Bridgewater’s student engagement platform. This tool is great for viewing and registering for events, joining student organizations and more!

Opening Day BBQ

At the start of each semester, we greet all our new and returning students with a variety of engagement opportunities during Kick-Off. From the Welcome BBQ to events like Bingo and the Involvement Fair, there is something for everyone.

Through our Got Questions initiative, we also greet all students with in-person and online ways to get their questions answered during the first few days of each semester and beyond.

2022 Homecoming court sitting on a bench together holding hands

BSU students, alumni, families and friends join together every fall for Homecoming, which unites the past with the present.

Traditions include our Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a parade and pageant, a fair at University Park, alumni reunions, and the Homecoming football game.

A row of graduates at the commencement ceremony

Every May, BSU holds three commencement ceremonies. The BSU community, families and friends celebrate our students as they graduate in two undergraduate ceremonies and one graduate commencement ceremony.

In addition, through our Leaving the Den pathway program for graduating undergraduates, seniors receive regular customized communications and specialized events.

Bristaco’s Bucket List

Two students wearing sunglasses and wearing toy snakes around their necks at Carnival

Each spring semester, Bridgewater’s student-led Program Council sponsors several signature events that have become known as “Bristaco’s Bucket List.” Those events include: 

  • Bristaco’s Birthday Bash
  • Drag Show
  • Music and Arts Festival
  • Spring Carnival
  • Bingo
  • Duck Day
Midnight Madness at BSU
Bristaco, BSU's bear mascot, posing in a graduation cap and gown at Gillette Stadium, where commencement is held


BRISTACO the bear is our mascot. The bear was chosen as the school mascot by a student vote in the 1960s, when Bridgewater State brought modern day football to the college. Bristaco was named for the institution, which — at the time — was BRIdgewater STAte COllege.

Two lacrosse players in red and white uniforms practice on the field


Crimson is our signature school color.

In the school fight song, you will hear:

Bears all unite. 
BSU fight with all our might.
Crimson and white we’ll stand tall and proud tonight.

A student in a graduation cap and gown sings at the commencement ceremony

Alma Mater Song

New lyrics for BSU’s alma mater song — which was originally written by Zelma Lucas, Class of 1904, and William Lester Bates, Class of 1892 — were unveiled in May of 2022. Juliana Horton, G’22, wrote:

Our love of community guides us in purpose and thought, well aware, the courage to lead and inspire, the hallmark of ev’ry Bear. 

Alma Mater! Alma Mater! Rising to what lies before. Alma Mater, keep Bridgewater close to heart forever more!

Wherever the road takes us onward, a time will arise, now and then, with ever a sense of belonging, we’ll come home to you – again.


For legions of those you have tended, your history vital and strong, for then and today and tomorrow, we join in our loyal song.