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On This Day

1900 — General Thomas H. Hubbard, Class of 1857, donates funds to build a “first-class library building.”


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Daily Archives

April 2014
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David and Phillip Ying to Lead Bowdoin International Music Festival

Phillip and David Ying

Phillip and David Ying

The Bowdoin International Music Festival (BIMF) announced Saturday that David and Phillip Ying have been named co-artistic directors. An organization independent of the College, BIMF brings renowned soloists, performers, artist instructors, and gifted pre-professional classical musicians from around the world to the Bowdoin campus during the summer for six weeks of intensive chamber music study, collaboration, and performance. The Yings, who were selected to lead BIMF following a national search, will succeed founding director Lewis Kaplan at the conclusion of the Festival’s 50th anniversary season in 2014.

Continue reading David and Phillip Ying to Lead Bowdoin International Music Festival

Chakkalakal Talks Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin (BBC Radio 4)

Stowe House (Illustration credit: Abby McBride)

BBC Radio 4 recently came to Brunswick to visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe house and interview Tess Chakkalakal, associate professor of Africana Studies and English, about the lasting impacts of Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Chakkalakal’s comments were featured as part of the radio program, “The Legacy of Uncle Tom,” which aired on Nov. 25.

“One thing that Stowe wasn’t, was ambivalent about slavery,” Chakkalakal said. “She knew it was wrong; and really the reason for the novel … was to speak out against the fugitive slave law” — that is, the law that prohibited northerners from harboring escaped slaves.  Stowe herself harbored a runaway slave in her Brunswick home.

“When Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852, it immediately caused a stir and created a groundswell of anti-slavery feeling,” reads the BBC’s description. The program “traces the reactions to this work from the Abolition Movement, through the Civil Rights Movement to the Rodney King beating in 1991 and the murder of Trayvon Martin last year.”

Chakkalakal and Professor of English Peter Coviello will be co-teaching a Spring 2014 course called “Uncle Tom and Its Afterlives” as part of the College’s new Civil War course cluster, funded by a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Bowdoin NewsRead more Bowdoin News »

Community Museum Pops Up in Hubbard Hall

Bowdoin’s first “Pop-Up Museum” popped up in Hubbard Hall for a couple of hours on the evening of Nov. 12, sponsored by the Arctic Museum and Museum of Art. Community members were invited to bring favorite items from home and tell the stories behind their objects.

Video by Ali Ragan ’16

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee ’74 and the Adventures of Batkid

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee '74 (left) presents the keys to the city to Batkid (Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP)

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee ’74 (left) presents the keys to the city to Batkid (Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP)

The first time a mayor of San Francisco handed out the keys to the city, the honor went to a Russian-born American businessman and candy-maker for inventing a machine that mechanically inserted sticks into lollipops. That was in 1916. The most recent recipient is a five-year old kid dressed up as a bat. Mayor Ed Lee (Bowdoin Class of 1974) presided Friday as the City by the Bay came together to make a child’s dream come true.

Read more about Mayor Lee in the current issue of Bowdoin Magazine.

Lopez Directs Bowdoin Chamber Orchestra

The Bowdoin Chamber Orchestra performs under the direction of George Lopez

The Bowdoin Chamber Orchestra performs under the direction of Artist-in-Residence George Lopez

The Bowdoin Chamber Orchestra performed before a full Kanbar Auditorium, Studzinski Recital Hall Nov. 9, in the penultimate performance of students belonging to the senior class.

Directed by Beckwith Artist-in-Residence George Lopez, the program began with a rendition of Edward Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, Opus 20. The orchestra then performed Felix Mendelssohn’s expressive ‘Hebrides’ Overture, Opus 26. After intermission, the concert concluded with Antonin Dvorak’s cheerful Symphony Number 8 in G Major.

Student chamber ensembles will take place in Studzinski on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m.and 7:30 p.m.

By Somya Mawrie ’14

Masque and Gown Spooks with Agatha Christie Mystery

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 4.37.35 PMFor three nights this past week, student theater group Masque and Gown attracted full houses and long wait-lists with its first fall production, a stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery, And Then There Were None.

The novel, first published in 1939, chronicles the adventures of 10 people who are all lured for different reasons by a Mr. and Mrs. Owens to an island off the English coast. The guests soon realize the Owens do not exist, and worse, that they are part of someone’s strange plan to murder them one after another.

Christie’s thriller explores deeper meaning of justice in society and highlights the effects of guilt on one’s conscience. The psychological jargon of how different personalities react to guilt provides the backdrop for the play.

Student director Sabine Carrell ’13 remembers watching the thriller, and being captivated by the plot’s eerie horror, for the first time when she was 10 years old at her high school. The play left such an impression on her that she was unable to sleep for the rest of the week (she admits she continues to fear sleeping with her back to the room). Read the full story by Sophia Cheng ’15.

Filmmaker Mira Nair Screens ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ at Bowdoin


Students, parents and cinephiles crowded into Kresge Auditorium over Bowdoin’s Family Weekend for a screening of Mira Nair’s acclaimed movie, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. A Q&A with Nair followed the film.

Nair has directed such films as Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding and The Namesake. She has won numerous awards, including a Golden Camera Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and has been nominated for an Academy Award. She is also the mother of current Bowdoin student Zohran Mamdani ’14.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist, based on a novel by Mohsin Hamid, narrates the seldom told tale of events from the other side of the world after 9/11. It follows the life of an ambitious Pakistani student who rises through the ranks of Wall Street only to become disenchanted by his artificial American life, pushing him to returns to his roots. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2012. Read the full story by Erica Hummel ’16 here.

The Secret Passions of Exceptional People (Mental Floss)

Painter's pallette (creative)

When you think of Napoleon, you probably conjure images of the battlefield and war — not those of a man hunched over his chess board.

Emily Dickinson also had a surprising passion: she enjoyed baking in her spare time, while Thomas Edison had an elaborate hobby of molding concrete.

These are just a few amazing examples of  Mental Floss‘ 11 geniuses whose hobbies will surprise you.

Bowdoin Scares Out its Zombies

Video by Ali Ragan ’16

The office of Residential Life held its second annual Zombie Run last Saturday behind Farley Field House. The run is a 1.5-mile race in which runners try to outrun and outwit zombie-students who are stationed along the way. The zombies lunge after the runners to try to tag them out.

Dempsey’s ‘McDreamy’ Sports Bowdoin T-Shirt on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Patrick Dempsey's character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, wears a Bowdoin T-shirt in the October 24, 2013, episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Patrick Dempsey’s character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, wears a Bowdoin T-shirt in the October 24, 2013, episode of Grey’s Anatomy.


It seems fitting that on the cusp of Family Weekend, one of Bowdoin’s own would display his Polar Bear pride for a national audience to see — or, at least those not watching Game 2 of the World Series.

In the opening scenes of Grey’s Anatomy (“Thriller,” October 24, 2013), Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd, a Bowdoin grad on the show, is seen conversing with his family wearing a Bowdoin T-shirt.

Since Reunion Weekend 2013, the actor behind the role can also claim alumnus status. Patrick Dempsey, a Lewiston native, collected his honorary degree in recognition of his philanthropic work in Maine.

Dempsey’s character has now many times over the past several seasons sported Bowdoin gear on the show.