Lectures and Concerts

Notification of Award

The Committee expects to notify applicants of its decisions no later than the following dates:

Application Deadline: Notification by:
September 21, 2018 October 5, 2018
December 3, 2018 December 17, 2018
January 25, 2019 February 8, 2019
April 18, 2019 May 2, 2019


The Lectures and Concerts Committee reviews applications from the faculty for assistance in funding events that enhance the academic life of the College, including lectures, discussions, readings, workshops, concerts, dance and theatrical performances. The awards are drawn from funds allocated to the Committee from the College’s operating budget, from the Jasper Jacob Stahl Fund, the Annie Talbot Cole Lectureship, the Charles F. Adams Lectureship, the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund, and several endowed lecture funds. Outside appearances by a speaker, artist, or performer sponsored by Lectures and Concerts must be sponsored by an academic department or faculty member.

Please note that the Committee does not fund academic symposia. Faculty interested in hosting a symposium should apply to the dean's office or contact the Dean for Academic Affairs.

The Committee supports applications that

  • relate to academic life of the College, particularly to current course offerings;
  • involve the proposed guest(s) in a variety of activities, rather than a single public lecture, including classroom and informal interaction with students, and thoroughly describe these activities in the application;
  • show collaboration between departments/programs or between departments/programs and student organizations;
  • follow the Committee guidelines for honoraria;
  • keep travel and lodging expenses to a reasonable level;
  • keep meal expenses to a reasonable level, whenever possible using meals as a forum for further discussion, involving students, and making use of Bowdoin dining services.

Application Procedure

To apply for funding through the Lectures and Concerts Committee, please submit an application as a PDF attachment to landcproposals@bowdoin.edu. The PDF should be one document that has both the application and the speaker's C.V. No other formats will be accepted.

The Committee strongly encourages applicants to plan their events well in advance and discourages retroactive applications. The committee will give precedence to applications for events scheduled at least a month in the future.  The April deadline is reserved for events in the subsequent (fall) semester or beyond.  Applications for events that have already occurred may not receive funding.

Early submission of applications will allow the Committee to assist you with successful preparation for your event. You are asked to describe the proposed event as fully as possible (i.e., not only public lectures and performances but class visits, informal social meetings, meals and receptions, etc.). Careful explanations of budgets and any sources of supplementary funding will also strengthen the proposal.

Guidelines for honoraria: The Committee acknowledges that honoraria vary widely among fields and according to the stature of the presenter or performer invited and the extent of their involvement on campus. Honoraria should be in keeping with disciplinary norms and not normally exceed $500 for a single speaker or artist. Honoraria requests that exceed either disciplinary norms or Committee guidelines must be thoroughly explained in the application and other sources of funding should be sought. No honorarium amount should ever be quoted to a speaker or performer prior to approval by the Committee.

Award Information

  • Applicants will be notified of approval or denial of their request by the Committee Chair.
  • Use the college scheduling system or contact the Campus Scheduler (ext. 3421);
  • To arrange for dining on campus, call ext. 3181;
  • Audio-visual needs should be made early in the planning process. In the case of theatrical or musical performances,Bowdoin's Audio-visual Services department may advise seeking outside assistance from a production company. Applicants should contact AV (Andrew Biedrzycki, ext. 4206) prior to applying so as to plan for such substantial additional costs in the proposed budget. Applicants should also be aware that consent forms must be completed by all non-Bowdoin participants prior to the recording of any event by AV Services.

Funds managed by the Lectures and Concerts Committee

Please note that support from endowed funds must be recognized in event publicity. Therefore, in most cases, retroactive funding through endowed funds is impossible.

The Jasper Jacob Stahl Lectureship in the Humanities: This fund is "used to support a series of lectures to be delivered annually at the College by some distinguished scholarly and gifted interpreter of the Art, Life, Letters, Philosophy, or Culture, in the broadest sense, of the Ancient Hebraic World or of the Ancient Greek World or of the Roman World, or of the Renaissance in Italy and Europe, or of the Age of Elizabeth I in England, or that of Louis XIV and the Enlightenment in France, or of the era of Goethe in Germany." The Stahl fund is the largest managed by the Committee, with about $30,000 available annually.

Annie Talbot Cole Lectureship: This fund is used to sponsor a lectureship that contributes "to the ennoblement and enrichment of life by standing for the idea that life is a glad opportunity. It shall, therefore, exhibit and endeavor to make attractive the highest ideals of character and conduct, and also, insofar as possible, foster an appreciation of the beautiful as revealed through nature, poetry, music, and the fine arts." The Cole fund provides about $2,000 annually.

Charles F. Adams Lectureship: This fund is used to support a lectureship in political science and education. The Adams fund provides about $5,500 annually.

Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund: This fund is used to enrich and enliven Bowdoin College through artistic expression and performance. The Fund should encourage the creation, performance and appreciation of all forms of art, music and performance existing today and created in the future. The artistic boundaries of the fund are limited only by imagination and creativity. The Edwards fund provides about $20,000 annually.

Lectures and Concerts General Fund: This relatively modest fund (annually about $15,000) is used to support the many worthy events that cannot be supported by any of the above funds.

Other Potential funding sources

The College has other sources of funding that should be sought out prior to or in conjunction with application to the Lectures and Concerts Committee.

Endowed Lecture Funds: Speakers may qualify as nominees for endowed lectures managed by individual departments/programs, the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs, or the Office of Donor Relations.

The Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC): The SAFC is an arm of the Bowdoin Student Government, and receives roughly $540,000 per year to fund the nearly 100 student organizations that enrich the social and cultural life of the College through extra and co-curricular events and programs. The body is chaired by the Treasurer of the BSG, and comprised of the four class Treasurers and two at-large student members. The SAFC meets weekly to consider student funding requests, and is advised by the Director of Student Life. Funds may be requested from the SAFC by a student organization wishing to co-sponsor an event with an academic department. Applicants for Lectures and Concerts funding are encouraged to contact appropriate student organizations. Please note that the SAFC does not fund retroactive applications.

Common Hour: Each semester features approximately six Common Hours coordinated by the Office of Events & Summer Programs.  Most Common Hour presenters are identified through nominations by faculty, staff and students.  Applicants may want to consider nominating a presenter for Common Hour or contacting the Events Office staff to inquire about possibilities for co-sponsoring a Common Hour.  Note:  The Common Hour schedule of presenters is generally solidified at least a semester in advance and applicants should plan accordingly in nominating presenters.