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September 22, 2014, 6:13 am
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On This Day

  • 1752

    College founder James Bowdoin III is born.


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Daily Archives

September 2014
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A Cappella Groups Sing For New Members

All six of Bowdoin’s student a cappella groups performed recently in the Bowdoin Chapel to show off their talents and attract inspiring vocalists to audition. The groups — The Longfellows, Bellamafia, BOKA, Miscellania, Ursus Verses and the Meddiebempsters — sang two songs each in the concert.

By the Books: A Hawthorne-Longfellow Party Leaves Them Dancing in the Stacks



Last Friday evening the library should have been filled with industrious students tucked away studying in its many nooks. Instead they were dancing in the stacks. The class of 2018 was gathered in Hawthorne-Longfellow Library for a Bowdoin College first: a dance party with DJs, disco lighting and Top-40 hits. Read the full story by Erica Hummel ’16.

Before and After: 52 Harpswell

Bowdoin’s newest residential hall, at 52 Harpswell Road, was completed this summer. Students moved into the house in early September. This video gives a sense of the building in progress and after completion. Read more about the building.

What I Did This Summer: Studying the Science of Red Tide

Sasha Kramer ’16

Sasha Kramer ’16

Sasha Kramer ’16 spent the summer at Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center, studying the dynamics of algal blooms that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. She has been collaborating in the lab and on the water with Associate Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science Collin Roesler and Schuyler Nardelli ’15.

Here’s Sasha:

By the third hour, Schuyler and I had our sampling routine down to a perfect twelve minutes. We felt pretty impressed with ourselves, though the only witnesses to our accomplishment were a couple of jellyfish and a swarm of gnats.

“I can’t see it!” one of us would call, lowering the black-and-white patterned Secchi disk to determine the depth where light no longer penetrated the water and the disk became instantly invisible. Read the full story.

Investigating Religious Identity in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka (Image credit: Omar Sohail ’15)

Photo by Omar Sohail ’15

When is a religious identity also an ethnic identity, and how is that connection influenced by a history of colonization and conflicts? Omar Sohail ’15 has been exploring this question and others as he examines the Muslim concept of identity in Sri Lanka.

“When you talk to someone here in the US, the first thing they identify with might be geographical,” Sohail explained. “When I talked to people in Sri Lanka, they identified as Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslim.” A religion and chemistry major, Sohail spent spring 2014 in the Sri Lankan city of Kandy through Bowdoin’s ISLE program, and has been following up on his research this summer with funding from an Edward E. Langbein Summer Fellowship.

He is working under the guidance of religion and Asian studies professor John Holt, who recently won a Guggenheim for his own work in Sri Lanka and Burma.

Continue reading about Sohail’s research.

Bowdoin Outing Club Orientation Trips: A Slideshow of Maine

Debsconeag B5


To celebrate the Class of 2018′s first few adventurous days of college, the Bowdoin Outing Club last night presented a slideshow of photographs taken by students during their orientation trips.

The outing club offers many different three-day orientation trips featuring an array of activities: backpacking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, mountain biking and more.

Together, the student photographs display the beauty and wildness of Maine, giving the rest of us a window on some spectacular, and often remote, areas of the state. Click through the slideshow.

Bowdoin Opens Academic Year with 213th Convocation

The College’s annual Convocation ceremony, marking the official opening of the 213th academic year, was held Wednesday, Sept. 3, in Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall. In his “Opening of the College” address President Barry Mills reflected on what makes Bowdoin so unique and so beloved by many of its students, alumni and parents. He also touched on some of the challenges ahead for the College.

Dean of Student Affairs Timothy Foster, in his address “Voices from the Past,” recounted a story about two Bowdoin students who, in the early 1960s, arranged an exchange with Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.

Professor of Psychology Sam Putnam delivered the Convocation Address. An expert in social development, Putnam spoke on the subject of nature versus nurture and what, ultimately, is responsible for shaping us. Read the complete story and the full remarks of Mills, Foster and Putnam.

In the Books: A Bowdoin Rite of Passage


This week, President Barry Mills has been inviting small groups of first-year students into his office to personally meet each one, give a quick lesson in Bowdoin history, and guide the new students to the college’s matriculation book to sign in.

Bowdoin contains five of these matriculation books, which are filled chronologically with thousands of student signatures. In the early 19th century, a college official beautifully recorded the names of matriculants one by one. Then in 1841, the pen was handed over to students to personally mark their place in Bowdoin history. While the practice of signing matriculation books stopped in 1852, it resumed in 1872. Again abandoned in 1902, the custom was revived by President Sills in 1937 and has carried on unbroken to the present.

Click through the slideshow to see a few photos of the matriculation of the class of 2018, as well as some signatures by Bowdoin’s notable alumni written when they were 18-year-old incoming first-years.

Grace Butler ’16 Pushes Bicycle Coalition Forward

This summer, junior Grace Butler received a Psi Upsilon Environmental Fellowship from Bowdoin to intern with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, an advocacy organization based in Portland. Butler, a sociology and environmental studies major, took on the task of completing an economic benefit analysis of bicycling in Maine. She surveyed the businesses that support the bicycle economy here to assess how much money bicyclists contribute to the state.

President, Deans, Staff Welcome (and Reassure) 1st-Year Parents

cristlecollinsjuddParents and family members were likely offering their 18-year-olds plenty of last-minute advice yesterday as they helped the students move into dorm rooms and prepare for their first year of college. At the same time, family members were not spared nuggets of wisdom offered by people very familiar with the Bowdoin experience.

Relatives of incoming students gathered in Kanbar Auditorium/Studzinski Recital Hall for two different sessions to listen to members of Bowdoin’s administration speak about what incoming students might experience in the coming four years. These experts (many of whom have sent their own kids off to college) also offered a bit of advice to parents.

Read excerpts of remarks from President Barry Mills, Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd, Dean of First-Year Student Janet Lohmann, and others.