The purpose of the Bowdoin College Alumni Association is “to further the well-being of the College and its alumni by stimulating the interest of its members in the College and in each other through the conduct of programs by and for alumni, and by encouraging the efforts of its members in programs that promote the Common Good.” Membership is open to former students who during a minimum of one semester’s residence earned at least one academic credit toward a degree and whose class has graduated, to those holding Bowdoin degrees, and to anyone elected to membership by the Alumni Council. The general management of the Association is vested in the Alumni Council.
Joseph M. Herlihy ’75, president.
Alumni Council Awards
Alumni Service Award: First established in 1932 as the Alumni Achievement Award and renamed the Alumni Service Award in 1953, this award is made annually to the person whose volunteer services to Bowdoin, in the opinion of alumni, as expressed by the Alumni Council, most deserve recognition. It is the highest honor the Alumni Council bestows.
Distinguished Service Award for Faculty and Staff: Established in 1963, this award is presented every other year for service and devotion to Bowdoin.
Distinguished Educator Award: Established in 1964, this award is presented every other year to recognize outstanding achievement in the field of education as a teacher or administrator by a Bowdoin alumnus or alumna, except alumni who are members of the Bowdoin faculty and staff.
Foot Soldier of Bowdoin Award: Established in 1999 through the generosity of David Z. Webster ’57, this award is presented annually to one who exemplifies the role of a foot soldier of Bowdoin through his or her work for the development programs, BASIC, and/or other alumni programs during the prior year. In addition to an award, a scholarship is awarded each year in the name of the award-winner to a deserving Bowdoin undergraduate.
Polar Bear Awards: Established in 1999, these awards, up to six of which may be awarded annually, recognize significant personal contributions and outstanding dedication to Bowdoin. The award honors a record of service rather than a single act or achievement.
Young Alumni Service Award: Established in 1999, these awards, up to two of which may be awarded annually, recognize distinguished and outstanding service to Bowdoin among members of the ten youngest classes. The award honors a record of service rather than a single act or achievement.
Club Volunteer of the Year Award: Established in 2004, this award recognizes a club volunteer who has demonstrated enthusiasm, initiative, and outstanding execution and achievement during the preceding academic year.
Established in 1927, Bowdoin Magazine is published three times a year and contains articles of general interest about the College and its alumni. It is sent without charge to all alumni, seniors, parents of current students and recent graduates, faculty and staff members, and various friends of the College. For more information about the magazine, visit the Bowdoin Magazine website.
Bowdoin Alumni Schools and Interviewing Committees (BASIC)
BASIC is a volunteer association of more than 2,000 alumni in the United States and several foreign countries. These volunteers assist the Admissions Office in the identification and evaluation of candidates. BASIC volunteers interview applicants in their home areas, represent the College at local college fair programs, and, in general, serve as a link between high schools, prospective students, and the College.
The Bowdoin Alumni Fund seeks to raise financial support for the College’s educational programs and other student-related services on an annual basis. All gifts to the Alumni Fund are for current operational expenses and play a significant role in maintaining a balanced budget. Since the Fund’s inception in 1869, Bowdoin alumni have consistently demonstrated a high level of annual support, enabling the College to preserve and enhance the Bowdoin experience.
Chair: Joseph P. Curtin '84.
Alumni Fund Awards
Leon W. Babcock Plate: Presented to the College in 1980 by William L. Babcock Jr. ’69, and his wife, Suzanne, in honor of his grandfather, Leon W. Babcock ’17, it is awarded annually to the class making the largest dollar contribution to the Alumni Fund.
Alumni Fund Cup: Awarded annually since 1932, the Alumni Fund Cup recognizes the Reunion Class making the largest contribution to the Alumni Fund, unless that Reunion Class wins the Babcock Plate; in that event, the cup is awarded to the non-Reunion Class making the largest contribution.
Class of 1916 Bowl: Presented to the College by the Class of 1916, it is awarded annually to the class whose record in the Alumni Fund shows the greatest improvement over its performance of the preceding year.
Class of 1929 Trophy: Presented by the Class of 1929 in 1963, it is awarded annually to that one of the ten youngest classes attaining the highest percentage of participation.
Robert Seaver Edwards Trophy: Awarded annually to that one of the ten youngest classes raising the most money for the Fund, this trophy honors the memory of Robert Seaver Edwards, Class of 1900.
Fund Directors’ Trophy: Established in 1972 by the directors of the Alumni Fund, the trophy is awarded annually to the class that, in the opinion of the directors, achieved an outstanding performance not acknowledged by any other trophy.
Harry K. Warren Trophy: Awarded annually beginning in 1998, the Harry K. Warren Trophy recognizes the two Reunion classes achieving the highest percentage of participation.
Robert M. Cross Awards: Established by the directors of the Alumni Fund in 1990, the Robert M. Cross Awards are awarded annually to those class agents whose outstanding performance, hard work, and loyalty to Bowdoin, as personified by Robert M. Cross ’45 during his many years of association with the Fund, are deserving of special recognition.
The Class of 1976 Trophy: Established in 2004, the Class of 1976 Trophy is awarded each year to the class whose associate agent or team of volunteers deserve special recognition for energy, creativity, and leadership in a non-reunion year.
Society of Bowdoin Women
The Society of Bowdoin Women was formed in 1922 to provide “an organization in which those with a common bond of Bowdoin loyalty may, by becoming better acquainted with the College and with each other, work together to serve the College.”
Today, the Society of Bowdoin Women Advisory Board continues to consult in the administration of four endowment funds. The Edith Lansing Koon Sills Lecture and Prize Fund, established in 1961, is used to sponsor cultural, career, and literary speakers, and a yearly prize to an outstanding student in Gender and Women's Studies. The Society of Bowdoin Women Foundation, created in 1924, provided resources for the College’s general use. With the inception of coeducation at Bowdoin in 1971, the Society decided to restrict the funds to provide annual scholarships to qualified women students and renamed it the Society of Bowdoin Women Scholarship Foundation. The Society of Bowdoin Women Athletic Award, established in 1978, recognizes effort, cooperation, and sportsmanship by a senior member of a women’s varsity team. The Dorothy Haythorn Collins Award, created in 1985, honors a junior student exemplifying overall excellence and outstanding performance in his or her chosen field of study.
Advisory Board: Kimberly Labbe Mills ’82, O. Jeanne d’Arc Mayo, Joan R. Shepherd.
Association of Bowdoin Friends
Founded in 1984, the Association of Bowdoin Friends is a group of approximately 1,800 midcoast-area residents who share an interest in the well-being of the College. Its mission states “the association strengthens the relationship between Bowdoin and the community, affording members the opportunity to support and engage in the life of the College.” Some members are alumni or otherwise have direct ties to the College, while most are simply interested members of the community. Members regularly attend lectures, concerts, performances, and special events on campus, and some audit classes. Activities sponsored by the Friends include receptions and dinners held in conjunction with College events, large and small book discussion groups, and the community lecture series. Through the Friends Fund, many members choose to support the College library, museums, athletics, and music and performing arts programs.
Bowdoin Friends are also invited to become involved in the Host Family Program. Administered by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Host Family Program pairs local families with international students, teaching fellows, and visiting faculty, as well as interested first-year students, easing the transition to College life and fostering lasting friendships. Through this program, international students and faculty are offered a taste of American life and culture.
Individual membership is $40.00. Household membership starts at $55.00 for two people; and $5.00 for each additional member of household. Benefits of membership include receipt of a bi-weekly calendar of events, free classified advertising on the Bowdoin Web site, discounts to many campus performances, free library borrowing privileges, a 15% discount at the Bowdoin Bookstore and The College Store, and discounts at the museum shops.
Steering Committee for 2013–2014: Bruce Amstutz, Jane Biscoe, Winnie Chan P’97, Judy Collette, Don Doele ’59, Karen Dyer, Hugh Hardcastle, David Knight, Jeanne d’Arc Mayo, Amy McKenna, Martha Meacham, Dick Moll, Christopher Toole, and Deborah Zorach.
Host Family Program liaison: David Knight; Steering Committee chair: Jeanne d’Arc Mayo; Sara Smith, administrative coordinator.