Obituary: B.A. ‘Dolph’ Bridgewater, emeritus trustee, 85

Dolph Bridgewater

A memorial service and celebration of life honoring Bernard Adolphus “Dolph” Bridgewater Jr. will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in Washington University’s Graham Chapel. Bridgewater, an emeritus trustee of the university, died Oct. 31, 2019, surrounded by loved ones. He was 85.

Most recently, Bridgewater had been chairman, president and CEO of Brown Shoe Co., from which he retired in 1999. During his career, he also served as a naval officer, then for the Navy’s Judge Advocate General and the Office of Management and Budget, as well as in leadership roles at several businesses.

He served on the university’s Board of Trustees from 1983 until 2006, when he became an emeritus trustee. During his tenure, he served on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Audit Committee from 1985-1994; chair of the Education Policy Committee from 1998-2003; and chair of the Honorary Degree Committee from 2004-06.

In addition, he had served on the Brown School National Council since 2005, including serving as chair from 2006-09. In that role, Bridgewater led the school’s “Plan for Excellence” process, resulting in the Brown School’s strategic plan, Impact 2020, and inspiring others at the university in their planning efforts. In recognition of his service, the Brown School awarded him the Dean’s Medal in 2008.

Together with his wife, Barbara, he contributed to scholarships for Sam Fox School and Brown School students. He also had served as a visiting professor at Olin Business School.

Bridgewater is survived by Barbara; his daughters, Barrie Somers, Beth Condie and Bonnie Stewart; and 10 grandchildren. Somers, AB ’84, her husband and daughters all graduated from Washington University.

Read the family’s obituary online. Read a Washington magazine profile of the Bridgewaters.

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