Campus News

New Admissions Building Poised to Show Bowdoin at Its Best

Story posted March 19, 2001

Walk through the white columns and in the front door of the new admissions building and be dazzled. Linger in the bright, spacious reception area--surrounded by polished, restored woodwork, walls of deep red and white accents, and state-of-the-art equipment--and listen to the "oohs" and "ahs" of each new visitor. Sit in a comfortable upholstered chair near the gas fireplace in the waiting room, sunshine filtering through Palladian windows, and feel welcome and excited to be there.

As first impressions go, the Burton-Little House--home to the Admissions Office since mid-February--is a champ. This first stop for most prospective students and their families is poised to show the world the best of what Bowdoin is about.

"My staff and I are extremely grateful to Mr. Druckenmiller and the College for making it possible for us to work in what I believe is the finest admissions building in New England," says Richard Steele, vice president for admissions and student aid. "The Burton-Little House is fully accessible to prospective students and provides a wonderful first impression of Bowdoin. Its architectural beauty and historical features reinforce Bowdoin's reputation as Maine's oldest and most distinguished college, while providing visitors with state-of-the-art computer facilities."

The renovation of the former Kappa Delta Theta (originally Delta Kappa Epsilon) house by Ouellette Construction in Freeport is a thrill to behold. The original design of the Colonial Revival-style house has been meticulously retained. Woodwork throughout has been restored, from banisters and windowpanes to fireplace mantles, moldings, and window seats. At the same time, the building has been repaired and brought up to code, with repair to the foundation and installation of elevators and large, fully accessible rest rooms. Bowdoin's commitment to keeping pace with the latest technology is immediately apparent to every visitor, who will discover four public PCs wired in the reception room, one wheelchair accessible.

When it comes to admissions business at hand, the building is not only modern and functional, but comfortable and attractive. It has been furnished beautifully (made possible, in part, by the Baxter Family Memorial Fund), and boasts an original Audubon on display. The reception area, the first stop for visitors to find out about academic programs and gather for the campus tour, is stocked with Bowdoin publications, including viewbooks and catalogs, and offers plenty of other campus and event information. The presentation room off the reception area seats about 40, and is equipped with a large screen TV for slide shows, presentations by admissions officers, and film on such off-campus programs as Cape Town and the Coastal Studies Center. Two interview rooms are on the ground floor, while the second and third floors--reached by elevator or a grand staircase--are principally offices, all bright, spacious, comfortable, and functional. (If you visit the third floor, note the varied ceiling shapes enjoyed by staff in those offices.)

Other amenities are particularly welcome when compared to the former Admissions Office housed in Jewett Hall. "The Burton-Little House is easy for visitors to find, offers parking and is just steps away from the main campus," Steele points out. "I love the fact that the first stop on our tours will now be the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library. What an appropriate message that sends about Bowdoin's priorities."

Originally dedicated in 1901 the Burton-Little House will be dedicated on Friday, May 11. It is being named for two alumna of Bowdoin who retained their love for and involvement with the College throughout their lives, and who were both members of the Deke fraternity, which called the house its own for nearly a century.

Harold Hitz Burton, class of 1909, led a life dedicated to public service. Elected to the Senate in 1940, and named to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Harry Truman in 1945, he had served his county in war and was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre and a Purple Heart. He was awarded the College's highest honor, The Bowdoin Prize, and served his alma mater through work with the Alumni Council, Alumni Fund and Board of Overseers.

George Thomas Little, class of 1877, was a lover of literature, language and nature, an author, editor, teacher, librarian and mountaineer. He left a permanent legacy to Bowdoin in the form of the College's first modern library, and he undertook the planning and supervised the building of Hubbard Hall. His involvement in the College's history extended beyond the role of his employment at the College to his service as editor of the General Catalogue and authorship of a history of the first centennial of the College.

Watch the SUN Online for information about the upcoming admissions building Open House.

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