Founded in 1984, the Association of Bowdoin Friends is an informal group of individuals who share an interest in the programs and well-being of the College. Some Friends have direct ties to Bowdoin, either as individuals or through their families, although most are simply interested members of the community.

In June of 1998, the Steering Committee of the Association met with representatives of many campus departments and a sampling of students and crafted the following vision statement:

The Association of Bowdoin Friends strengthens the relationship between Bowdoin and the community affording members the opportunity to support and engage in the life of the College.

The Association of Bowdoin Friends sponsors a variety of programs including those focusing on exhibitions of the Museum of Art and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, faculty and staff presentations, and student programs. Friends' receptions and dinners are often planned in conjunction with these and other special events on campus.

Bowdoin Friends are offered opportunities to become more involved in the life of the College by volunteering their time to support College activities through participation on the Friends' Steering Committee, or through participation in the Host Family Program. The Steering Committee meets monthly and serves as the planning and sponsoring group of the Association's activities. The Host Family Program is administered through the College's Student Affairs office. It matches local families and individuals with international students, other new students, and teaching fellows.

Friends are also invited each year by the Friends of the College Fund to make charitable contributions to support College programs.

Bowdoin Friends are kept informed of College affairs and events through receipt of the electronic bi-weekly Bowdoin Bulletin newsletter.