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On This Day

  • 1933

    The College opens for the year on this Thursday, notwithstanding the provision of the by-laws setting the fourth Thursday of September as the opening date.


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Daily Archives

January 2012
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Whispering Pines: Transformations and Trajectories


In his latest column, on the cusp of Black History Month, John Cross ’76 reflects on two alumni from the 1920s who, “each in his own way, put a shoulder to the wheel to advance human dignity and ensure social justice.”

In looking through a bound copy of The Quill (Bowdoin’s literary magazine) for 1924 that had once belonged to President Kenneth C. M. Sills, Class of 1901, I came across a three-page essay on “Prejudices”  by future Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist W. Hodding Carter, Jr., of the Class of 1927. After declaring that his initial impulse was to write a defense of the Ku Klux Klan, Carter proceeded to vent his anger at French Canadians, “Sons of Erin,” African Americans, and New Englanders whose ancestors had profited from the slave trade. By any standard, it was strong stuff to read in a College publication, especially coming, as it did, from a seventeen-year-old from Louisiana. It was with deep regret and no small measure of shame that Carter would later recall that for his first year at Bowdoin he refused to talk to (or even remain in the same room with) the College’s only African-American student at that time, who lived in an adjacent room in Winthrop Hall.
Continue reading Whispering Pines: Transformations and Trajectories

Bowdoin’s Longfellow-Dante Connection Lives On

Longfellow around 1850, daguerrotype, Southworth & Hawes, Boston


Nearly two centuries after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow introduced students to the “soaring” poetry of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, two recent Bowdoin grads have published new findings about the Longfellow-Dante connection in the prestigious journal Dante Studies.

Both alumnae worked with primary documents in Bowdoin’s Special Collections and Archives to aid in their research.

“I was looking at marginalia, Longfellow’s handwritten notes,” says Kelsey Abbruzzese ’07.

“It was so amazing to think that Longfellow held this, he wrote on it, and here it is at the College where I can hold it and incorporate it into my essay.”

Read the story.

Helen Gurley Brown Funds Journalism Innovation (New York Times)

Helen Gurley Brown, as pictured on the cover of the biography by Jennifer Scanlon (at right).

Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism is teaming up with Stanford University’s school of engineering to create a new center for media innovation that will strengthen the link between journalism and technology.

The center, which will have locations on both campuses, is being funded with a $30 million donation from Helen Gurley Brown, the 89-year-old former Cosmopolitan editor and subject of the critically acclaimed Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown (2009) by Jennifer Scanlon, Bowdoin’s William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities.

The dean of Columbia’s journalism school, Nicholas Lemann, told faculty and students that the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation “will create the closest ongoing partnership I’m aware of between journalists and computer scientists.”

Legal Eagles Keeping Fewer in the Nest (Wall Street Journal)

While law firms are finally rebounding from the recession, the future may still look bleak for prospective lawyers.

An article in The Wall Street Journal explains that although the conditions at law firms have stabilized over the past few years, many firms are cutting the ranks of their entry level lawyers.

The demand for high-ranking graduates from the Ivy League and other top law schools remains high, but for the rest, life after law school may not be what they had envisioned.

Bowdoin Researchers Publish Study of Rising Sea Level Impacts on Brunswick, Harpswell

During the fall of 2010, seven students participated in an independent study with Environmental Studies Director Phil Camill  and Program Manager Eileen Johnson in response to a request for a municipal-scale sea level rise impact analysis framework for coastal Maine. The project focused on the communities of Brunswick and Harpswell and involved community presentations and feedback throughout the process.

Building upon the fall independent study, Maryellen Hearn ’11 and Krista Bahm ’11 worked with Camill and Johnson to refine the analysis, and their study, “Using a Boundary Organization Approach to Develop a Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Impact Analysis Framework for Coastal Communities in Maine,” was published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. (The study is available to Bowdoin students, faculty and staff through the Bowdoin Library subscription to JESS.)

“Most people think that the rocky, steep coast line of New England is less susceptible to sea level rise,” say Camill. “But, we found that there can be substantial potential impacts to transportation networks, property and intertidal ecosystems.”

“The independent study was a great learning opportunity for the students and a valuable service to community, state and local partners” says Johnson.

In addition to presenting findings, this work provides a template for other coastal communities in New England and is an example of the kinds of community based scholarship happening at Bowdoin.

Bowdoin Students Introduce Middle Schoolers to the Campus

More than 50 middle schoolers from Lincoln Middle School’s English Language Learners program in Portland visited Bowdoin last Friday to learn about college and what it takes to get there.

Their visit was organized by Mike Hendrickson ’13 and Robbie Harrison ’14 as part of the Bowdoin Alternative Winter Break program that focused on immigrant and resettlement issues. During the last week of winter break, a small group of students led by Hendrickson and Harrison spent time with the middle schoolers, talking to them about setting goals and the importance of education.

“Today was one of our ways of focusing them on college and future opportunities,” Hendrickson said.

Harrison added,”It was a way for us to give them an idea of what they could set as a goal.”

Continue reading Bowdoin Students Introduce Middle Schoolers to the Campus

Christopher Hill ’74: ‘Macedonia’s Man of Peace’ (Project Syndicate)

Christopher Hill '74

During the bloody conflict of the post-Yugoslav wars, only one newly independent country of the former Yugoslavia remained at peace. In a recent Project Syndicate essay, Christopher Hill ’74, praises Kiro Gligorov, Macedonia’s former president, for avoiding warfare despite the turbulent environment. Gligorov survived an assassination attempt in 1995 to die Jan 1, 2012 at the age of 94.

Hill, currently dean of the Korbel School of International Studies at University of Denver, was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia and Poland. He was also special envoy for Kosovo, a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords, and chief U.S. negotiator with North Korea from 2005-2009.

Polar Bear Scoreboard


Women’s Squash — The Bowdoin College women’s squash team enjoyed its most productive weekend of the season, picking up four wins in six matches at the Maine Event hosted at the Lubin Center last weekend.

Men’s Squash — Paced by a trio of 6-0 weekend performances, the Bowdoin College men’s squash team came within points of a perfect weekend at the Maine Event hosted at the Lubin Center.

Ted Wells ’98 and Dr. Seuss Inspire Students to Change Hollywood

When Ted Wells’ fourth-grade class read Dr. Suess’s The Lorax, in which the Lorax character “speaks for the trees,” his students were inspired to do what they could to prevent a Hollywood studio from watering down Dr. Seuss’s environmental message.

Wells’ Park School class in Brookline, Mass., helped convince University Pictures, which is releasing a Lorax movie in March, to green-up the marketing of its film to reflect the book’s theme. The students started an online petition that collected more than 56,000 signatures. Movie star Edward Norton tweeted about the petition, and Mother Jones and Grist also ran articles about the students’ project.

Wells updated the petition on Thursday: “They’ve changed their website almost exactly as my class requested!! Same visual, same link!!” The class had asked that the website have a Lorax Tip button that let viewers see a list of ways to help the planet. Universal also told Wells it was putting other environmental initiatives in place.

Wells said his students celebrated with a dance party during snack break. He also reiterated the famous quote from The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Polar Bear Scoreboard


Women’s Basketball — The women’s basketball team dominated the second half of a 64-52 win over Colby Saturday afternoon at Morrell Gymnasium. Read coverage in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Men’s Basketball — The men’s basketball team took command in the second half of a 67-40 win over Colby Saturday at Morrell Gymnasium.

Women’s Ice Hockey — For the second straight night, the women’s ice hockey team scored three goals in the third period to defeat Williams, this time taking a 3-0 win Saturday afternoon at Watson Arena.

Women’s Squash — Amid a full day of matches, the women’s squash team won two, beating Tufts, 9-0, and Wellesley, 8-1, and dropped one, falling to Brown, 9-0.

Men’s Squash — Brown’s squash team was able to squeak past Bowdoin, 5-4.

Nordic Skiing — Powered by a ninth-place showing by Kaitlynn Miller in Friday’s classic sprint, the Bowdoin College nordic ski team placed ninth of 13 teams at the University of New Hampshire Carnival this weekend.

Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving — The swimming and diving teams won three of four head-to-head match-ups in a meet against Trinity and Wesleyan Saturday at Trinity College.

Men’s and Women’s Track & Field — The track and field teams both took convincing first-place finishes at the Bowdoin Invitational hosted Saturday at Farley Field House.