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Lewis and Gaines Center for Inclusion and Equity

A group of students making silly poses for the camera together at a LGCIE event

A New Name for a Renewed Mission

The Lewis and Gaines Center for Inclusion and Equity (LGCIE — Legacy) encourages equity and promotes the celebration of cultural pluralism at Bridgewater State University.

LGCIE strives to create a community that appreciates the history, culture and traditions of underserved students, and believes in the positive relationship between multiculturalism and student achievement.

LGCIE also fosters cross-divisional collaborations that assist with the retention of BSU students.

A student dances with the Puerto Rican flag at a Black History Month celebration
LGCIE sponsors a variety of cultural and social activities open to all BSU students who wish to acknowledge and celebrate our diverse community.
Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez counseling a student in the LGCIE office
LGCIE is dedicated to holistically supporting the needs of our student body. We host an array of programs that connect students to and create awareness of the plethora of support services provided by the University.
A student smiling in the sunlight at a LGCIE event
LGCIE is fully committed to creating opportunities that support persistence, retention and graduation of our students.

Honoring Legacies

On Sept. 24, 2020, the Bridgewater State University Board of Trustees approved the renaming of the Center for Multicultural Affairs to the Lewis and Gaines Center for Inclusion and Equity. This name change reflects our deep commitment to racial equity and our relentless determination to close achievement gaps. The change also formally recognizes the renewed mission of the Center for Multicultural Affairs and celebrates two of our most esteemed alumni.

The change from Multicultural Affairs to Inclusion and Equity better reflects the mission of the Center by underscoring the focus on student success and by ensuring that all students — one student at a time — have access to the resources and supports they need to persist, graduate and reach their highest potential.


Sarah Lewis portrait
Sarah Lewis was Bridgewater State University’s first graduate of color. Coming from nearby Fall River, she was accepted into Bridgewater State Normal School in February 1867 and was awarded her diploma on January 26, 1869 — one year before Harvard conferred its first undergraduate degree to a Black student. Sarah went on to teach in the Fall River Public Schools.
Paul Gaines portrait

When Paul Gaines, G’68 died in June 2020, BSU lost a member of our community who did as much to advance racial justice on our campus as anyone in our history. He devoted decades of his life to advancing equality and equity for all and changed fundamentally and forever the entire culture of BSU. When he was appointed our first director of minority affairs in 1968, there were 11 students of color enrolled at Bridgewater. Paul laid the groundwork for making BSU the diverse institution it is today with 25 percent students of color.

Featured News

Featured News

View more LGCIE stories »
Alumni Profile
Leading the Way

Alumnus serves as example for other first-gen students

Sharon Pitterson-Olgadez sits and talks with a student
'Right Direction'
Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez named director of LGCIE
Mental Health
Graphic of words Togetherall and WellTrack Apps featured on cell phones
Mental Health Matters
Campus community offers assistance in-person and online for students

Contact Us

Lewis and Gaines Center for Inclusion and Equity

Rondileau Student Union, Room 101
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA 02325
United States

Office Hours
The Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.