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Common Hour Speaker Benjamin Jealous Urges Individuals to Make an Impact

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 14:06

In his introductory remarks, sociology professor Roy Partridge describes former NCAAP leader Benjamin Jealous as a “vital thinker and inspirational orator who can help people of all ages define how they will change the world through their individual and collective efforts.” Jealous spoke at Bowdoin for the Feb. 21 Common Hour. His talk is part of a series of events at Bowdoin related to the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jealous stepped down from his post as CEO and president of the NAACP in December. The youngest president in the organization’s history, he has been a leader of successful state and local movements to ban the death penalty, outlaw racial profiling, defend voting rights, secure marriage equality and free wrongfully incarcerated people. A Rhodes Scholar, Jealous is a graduate of Columbia and Oxford universities. He has been named to the “40 under 40″ lists of both <em>Forbes</em> and <em>Time</em> magazines, and labeled a Young Global Economic Leader by the World Economic Forum.

In his talk, Jealous spoke about his activism, as well as that of others, especially the work of a 16-year-old woman who helped eradicate the U.S. death penalty for juveniles. As he spoke, he recounted some of the wisdom he has picked up along the way.

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Women’s Basketball Looks To Reclaim NESCAC Championship This Weekend (Video)

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 14:05

Basketball128The Bowdoin College women’s basketball team will continue pursuit of its first NESCAC Championship since 2009 when they travel to play in the NESCAC Semifinals Saturday against Amherst College on the campus of Tufts University. The Polar Bears will battle the Jeffs at 4 p.m. Saturday and fans can watch live online here.

Check out a video preview of the game with Polar Bears Sara Binkhorst ’15 and Anna Prohl ’14.

For a complete preview of the game, visit here.

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‘Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography’ Emerges at Museum of Art

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 14:04
“Max Ernst, 1946,” gelatin silver print. by Frederick Sommer. Museum Purchase, Gridley W. Tarbell II Fund. © Frederick & Frances Sommer Foundation.

“Max Ernst, 1946,” gelatin silver print. by Frederick Sommer. Museum Purchase, Gridley W. Tarbell II Fund. © Frederick & Frances Sommer Foundation.

Explore the radical and multilayered nature of Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, featuring photographs created by leading Surrealist artists, such as Eugène Atget, André Kertész, René Magritte, Man Ray and Maurice Tabard. The exhibition is on view through June 8, 2014. Read more about Under the Surface and related events, including lectures, film screenings and gallery talks.

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Happy 207th Birthday, Longfellow

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 14:03
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of the Class of 1825

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Class of 1825


Today’s edition of the Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor  honors Bowdoin’s own Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Class of 1825), 207 years after the illustrious poet’s birth in Portland, Maine.

He entered Bowdoin College at the age of 15, and one of his classmates was Nathaniel Hawthorne; the two would remain lifelong friends. When Longfellow graduated, the college gave him a chair in modern languages, and he worked with translations for the rest of his life.

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Common Good, Alumni Council Awards to be Presented at Reunion Convocation May 31

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 14:06
Reunion convocation award

(L. to r.) Richard Bail ’64, Ed Lee ’74, Mike Poor ’64, Tracy Burlock ’81, Patricia Pye

Awards honoring outstanding leadership and service to the College will be presented May 31, 2014, during Reunion Convocation.

The Common Good Award, selected by the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees, this year has three recipients, each of whom embody a profound and sustained commitment to the common good: Communities Without Borders co-founder Dr. Richard Bail ’64, San Francisco’s first Asian-American mayor Ed Lee ’74, and Forest Foundation founder Mike Poor ’64.

The Alumni Service Award and the Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff, chosen by the Alumni Council, recognize members of the Bowdoin community for their exemplary achievement and dedication. The Alumni Service Award will be presented to Bowdoin College Trustee Emerita Tracy Burlock ’81, and the Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff goes to 40-year Dining Service veteran Patricia Pye.

Registration for Reunion 2014 (May 29-June 1) opens in March.

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Acclaimed Author Faludi to Deliver Tallman Lecture

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 14:04
Susan Faludi

Susan Faludi

Acclaimed feminist writer Susan Faludi, currently Tallman Scholar in Gender and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin, will deliver a lecture called ”Feminism, Interrupted: Why Can’t the Women’s Movement Pass Down Power?” as part of her 2013-2014 Tallman residency. The lecture will be held Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Nation, Faludi is also a bestselling author. Her book Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

“This is someone who can take knowledge and theory and research, and package it in a way that a lot of people will read and be interested in,” Ghodsee said. “When Susan Faludi weighs in, the public listens.”

Read more here.


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Christopher Hill ’74: ‘China’s Fear Strategy’ (Project Syndicate)

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 14:02
Christopher Hill '74

Christopher Hill ’74

As the U.S. government becomes increasingly wary of escalating tensions in Asia, Christopher Hill ’74 offers his insight on China’s hawkish diplomatic strategy and its potential repercussions. China has been described as a “bully” by Southeast Asia, evidenced by its desire to “turn the South China Sea into a southern Chinese lake” and its declared sovereignty over the South China Sea and Diaoyu Islands (known by Japan as the Senkaku Islands). China has also “unilaterally established an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea,” asserting its claim over the Diaoyu Islands.

What, beyond for purely economic reasons, drives China’s recent aggressive foreign policy in East and South Asia? Hill posits that China’s domestic political tensions have led President Xi Jinping to “pick his battles and set his priorities.” Xi has chosen to prioritize adjudicating domestic institutional competition and “maintaining a strong relationship with the security and military bureaucracy” over pacifying international tensions.

Hill cautions against China’s current international tactlessness; he asserts, “Unless China improves its relations with its neighbors, its international image will continue to take a beating.” If China continues its “unilateral assertions of [territorial] claims,” it will only continue to ”create tension and increases the threat of violent conflict – often the result of miscalculation or accident.”

Hill is a former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, South Korea, Macedonia and Poland. He served as a U.S. special envoy to Kosovo and was a negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords. Hill is currently the Dean of the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

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Investors Turn from Gold to Diamonds (Fortune)

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 14:00

Diamond in the rough

Diamonds, perennially a girl’s best friend, now also count investors among their besties. The demand for diamonds has been on the rise recently in the emerging world,  and investors are setting their sights on a new investment asset to replace gold. The growing demand, is due, in part, to Chinese brides looking for diamond engagement rings, a concept foreign to China until recently. Read more about the growing interest in diamonds.

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Professor of Art Wethli Curates NYC Gallery Show

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 14:06


 John Bisbee, Cyclonaut #1 (2014), Heated, hammered, and bent 12" spikes, 11 feet 9 inches in diameter. Right: Cassie Jones, From the Brink (2014), Sand on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Left: John Bisbee, Cyclonaut #1 (2014), Heated, hammered, and bent 12″ spikes, 11 feet 9 inches in diameter. Right: Cassie Jones, From the Brink (2014), Sand on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Mark Wethli, Bowdoin’s A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art, is curating the first show of a new gallery in New York City. The Curator Gallery, founded by former Time Inc. chairman and CEO Ann Moore, will differ from other commercial galleries by inviting guest curators to organize its exhibitions.

The Curator Gallery wanted to open with a show of Maine art that focuses on mid-career artists doing “important work that deserves wider exposure in the city,” according to Wethli. The inaugural exhibition, called “Second Nature,” will include work by John Bisbee, Meghan Brady, Clint Fulkerson, Cassie Jones ’01, Joe Kievitt and Andrea Sulzer. In addition to Bisbee’s and Jones’s Bowdoin connections, Brady has taught at the College and Andrea Sulzer is a former lab instructor in biology here. Read the full story.

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Climate Change Heats Up English Winemaking (Marketplace)

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 14:04

white wine serie



Climate change might not be all bad — at least for English winemakers. Once deemed “undrinkable” land, warmer climates have helped sparkling English wine compete favorably with its French cousin. However, England still has a ways to go before it can truly be on par with France. Last year, England developed four million bottles of wine, while France supplied eight billion.

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Infographic: Bowdoin Off-Campus Study 2013-2014

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 14:02

Infographic designed by Nina Underman ’15

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Lego and Apple: The Surprising Similarities (Fortune)

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 14:00

lego apple256



Lego, which has come to fore even more prominently recently with the success of The Lego Movie (“the greatest movie ever assembled,” proclaims the film’s trailer) and Apple (“the greatest consumer electronics company,” say lots of people) have more in common than their respective shiny, candy-like appeal. As Fortune magazine points out, they share a key quality every company should attempt to build.

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BET Honors Ken Chenault ’73, Carrie Mae Weems H’12 Tonight

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 14:50
Ken Chenault '73 and Carrie Mae Weems H'12

Ken Chenault ’73 and Carrie Mae Weems H’12


American Express president and CEO Ken Chenault ’73, and artist and 2012 honorary degree recipient Carrie Mae Weems are among those being lauded on BET Honors, airing Monday, February 24, 2014, at 9 p.m. EST (check local listings for channel). Other honorees include Aretha Franklin, Berry Gordy, Ice Cube and Nelson Mandela. Watch video clips of Chenault and Weems.


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On This Date: Remembering Joshua Chamberlain (American Thinker)

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 14:50
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

February 24, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who wore many hats, among them, Union Army officer; Governor of Maine; and alumnus, professor and president of Bowdoin College.

One hundred years ago, Chamberlain died at his home in Portland, Maine, at the age of 85.

American Thinker takes a look back at Chamberlain’s life and legacy. Also check out the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain digital archive, a project of the College’s George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives.




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In Defense of the Humanities: A Scholar’s Critique of ‘Dead Poets Society’ (The Atlantic)

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 14:50

Dead Poets Society

The country and higher education are currently managing a so-called “crisis in the humanities,” in which  enrollments in humanities courses are on the decline as students pursue what are believed to be more lucrative majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, commonly known collectively as STEM. Professor Kevin Dettmar at Pomona College adds his voice to the ongoing conversation through his critical interpretation of the 1989 film Dead Poets Society. 

Dettmar critiques the film as propagating “sentimental humanities,” or humanities that is obsessed with emotion at the expense of all methodology. He argues that liberal arts critics are resisting “sentimental humanities,” because it creates “ the conception that the humanities, as a group of disciplines, is more about feeling than thinking. That the humanities is easy, a soft option; that the humanities doesn’t train thinkers. Or more often, and more explicitly, that the humanities don’t train employees.” As professor and chair in the English department at Pomona, Dettmar rejects this portrayal of the humanities for a more professional, critically-engaging view of the liberal arts, in turn also rejecting the premise of Dead Poets Society. 

“Everyone engaged in the debates swirling around the humanities, it seems, is willing to let humanists pursue their interests as amateurs,” he concludes, “[However], scholars and teachers of the humanities…We will insist on being welcomed to the table as professionals.”

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Novelist Douglas Kennedy ’76 Turns to Music on BBC

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 14:49
Douglas Kennedy '76

Douglas Kennedy ’76

This week, novelist and travel writer Douglas Kennedy ’76 is the guest of BBC Radio 3′s Essential Classics show. Kennedy’s slot will air each day at 10:30 GMT through Feb. 28.

“Classical music is my High Church; one of the great abiding avocational passions in my life,” Kennedy wrote in an announcement. “Presented by the splendid Sarah Walker, you’ll hear me talk about my musical education beginning when I was brought to one of Leonard Bernstein’s celebrated Young Persons Concerts as a Manhattan schoolboy in 1964. And why I consider Wilhelm Kempff to be the ultimate interpreter of Beethoven’s piano sonatas…,” among other topics.

His conversation with Walker will also touch on Kennedy’s work as a novelist and his travels between North America and Europe.

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Saturday Scoreboard

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 14:04

Full bear bowdoin logo 256

Nordic SkiingThe Nordic ski team finished seventh of 12 teams at the Eastern Intercollegiate Skiing Association Championship this weekend hosted by Middlebury College.

Men’s Swimming & Diving — Williams College maintained its lead following day- two of the 2014 New England Small College Athletic Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship Saturday at Greason Pool.

Women’s Track & Field — The women’s indoor track and field team placed fifth at the New England Division III Championship Saturday at Springfield College.

Men’s Track & Field —The men’s indoor track and field team finished fifth of 30 teams at the Division III New England Championship Saturday at MIT. Due to technical issues, official results were not available at press time.

Women’s Squash — The women’s squash team lost a heartbreaking 5-4 decision to Amherst in the semifinals of the Walker Cup Division at the CSA Team National Tournament Saturday.

Women’s Basketball — The women’s basketball team opened the game on a 21-2 run and cruised to a 71-46 win over Williams College in the quarterfinals of the New England Small College Athletic Conference Tournament Saturday at Morrell Gymnasium.

Men’s Basketball — In the first triple-overtime game in NESCAC Tournament history, the Trinity College men’s basketball team survived Bowdoin 71-67 Saturday evening at Morrell Gymnasium.

Men’s Ice Hockey — The Tufts men’s ice hockey team broke a 3-3 tie late in the third period to take their first home win of the season against Bowdoin Saturday evening.

Women’s Ice Hockey — Colleen Finnerty scored the game’s only goal in the first period to carry the Bowdoin women’s ice hockey team to a 1-0 win over tenth ranked Amherst Saturday afternoon.

Scores listed are those available at time of publication.

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Bowdoin in Motion: Snowy Campus 2014

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 14:02

Colin Burke ’14 has captured a moment of campus beauty, snowy as it has been of late, using time-lapse photography after one of several recent snowfalls.

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Infographic: A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding a Coat of Arms (

Sun, 02/23/2014 - 14:00

View full infographic. Click image for full infographic.

Detail: Click image for full infographic.

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