Campus News

299 Students Honored at Sarah and James Bowdoin Day Exercises

Story posted October 12, 2001

The Sarah and James Bowdoin Day exercises were held Friday, October 12, in Morrell Gymnasium, and a record number of students were recognized as Book Award Winners.

On Sarah and James Bowdoin Day, held during Parents Weekend, the College gathers to recognize its highest-ranking scholars and to hear speeches by an outstanding student and a highly recognized practitioner in one of the liberal arts disciplines. This year's speakers were Larisa Resnik '02, and Dr. Michael M. Crow, a Bowdoin College Trustee, and executive provost and professor of science policy at Columbia.

Resnik, a double major in English and religion, spoke on “Disciplining Potential: Reclaiming Learning as a Service,” and encouraged us to “put learning back in the classroom.” Crow, who revised his address in light of the events and aftermath of September 11, spoke on the internet, globalization, and Bowdoin College.

Sarah and James Bowdoin scholarships are awarded each fall on the basis of work completed the previous academic year. The award is given to the twenty percent of all eligible students with the highest grade point average. This year, 299 students were named Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholars.

Book Awards are presented to every Sarah and James Bowdoin scholar who earned a GPA of 4.00. This year, a record number of 63 students were presented with Book Awards. The Award bears a replica of the early College bookplate serving to distinguish the James Bowdoin Collection in the library.

President Barry Mills welcomed the audience with a history of the Bowdoin family, calling particular attention to Sarah Bowdoin in this, the thirtieth anniversary year of the matriculation of women at the College.

Following Mills’ address, the Almon Goodwin Prize, presented to members of Phi Beta Kappa chosen by vote of the Board of Trustees of the College, was bestowed upon Jeffrey Scott Riese '02, Ann Emily Van Volkenburgh '02, and Ningning Yang '02.

Other Phi Beta Kappa members from the Class of '02 are Gregory Christopher Orlicz, Matthew Thomas Reeder, Allison Susanne Robbins, Rebecca Ann Sears, Andrew Dana Shaw, Brandee Marie Strickland, and John Karl Thorndike.

The processional into Morrell Gym was led by the World Music Ensemble, who performed "Damba" (Dagbamba Drumming) and the Turkish march "Hucum Marsli." The Bowdoin College Chamber Choir and World Music Ensemble performed an interlude, the gospel spiritual "Lord, Lord, Lord," and led the recessional to the Rastafarian drumming song "Nyabinghi."

Student marshals were Riese, Van Volkenburgh, and Yang.

A reception on the Cleaveland Quad for faculty, students, and families immediately followed the exercises.

The recognition of James Bowdoin Scholars was begun in 1941 to honor those undergraduates who distinguish themselves by excellence in scholarship and to commemorate the Honorable James Bowdoin III (1752-1811), first patron of the College. James Bowdoin III, who asked that the College be named after his father, was an agriculturist, an art and book collector, and a diplomat who served as Thomas Jefferson's minister plenipotentiary to Spain from 1804-08. In 1997 by faculty vote the commemorative day and distinction as scholar were changed to recognize both Sarah and James Bowdoin, who were married from 1780 until his 1811 death. Like her husband, Sarah Bowdoin gave many gifts to the College, including most of the Bowdoin family portraits, which were bequeathed to the College upon her death.

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