The day that my family dropped me off at Bowdoin, I remember thinking, “What exactly have I gotten myself into?” I was one month into adulthood and over 1,500 miles away from my home town of Little Rock, Arkansas. Settling in at Bowdoin, a place that I now consider my “home away from home,” I met some of the most incredible people, all of whom played a crucial role in my transformation. While much of my memory of Bowdoin includes professors, friends, and the entire Brunswick community, Barry’s distinct presence is one that I will always remember and revere.
“Barry has a way of making you feel like you’re the only person in the room.”
Barry would walk around campus, seemingly relaxed and open. Known for his investment in the student experience, he would randomly sit amongst students in Thorne Dining Hall and casually ask, “How are things going, [fill in your name here]?” The first time he approached me, as the conversation ended, as he walked away, I observed him closely, looking for the source of his information about me. He had none; my name, background, and interest were, somehow, magically all in his head. I’m certain that thousands of students and alumni share this same experience: Barry has a way of making you feel like you’re the only person in the room.
Aside from improving the culture of Bowdoin through listening to the students, Barry is a stellar fundraiser. His vision built a new Bowdoin: renovations of old buildings, the creation of new facilities and programs, and a variety of other impactful projects. However, the greatest investment from Barry’s fundraising efforts has been affordable education for working- and middle-class students, which has led to the most diverse student population in the College’s history. He created a formula to fully support (financial, social, emotional, etc.) the needs of all Bowdoin’s students by relentlessly demanding that all admitted students deserve to be at Bowdoin.
—Kayla Baker ’09
MBA Candidate, Cornell University