Campus News

Essay by Student, Soldier Alex Cornell du Houx '08 in Newsweek Kaplan College Guide

Story posted August 18, 2008

Six months into his junior year, Alex Cornell du Houx '08 was deployed to Iraq with the Marines.

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Alex Cornell du Houx '08 and his mother, Ramona

"I went from sitting in my Middle East politics class in a quaint Maine town to patrolling the war-torn city of Fallujah," writes Cornell du Houx, in an essay for the 2009 Newsweek Kaplan College Guide.

Cornell du Houx, who spent seven months of his college career deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, as a member of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion 25th Marines, was invited by Newsweek in June to write a first-person account of his life as a soldier and a student for the magazine's annual college guide.

Cornell du Houx, in Print and in Video
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Cornell du Houx in a video produced by Newsweek

Cornell du Houx was interviewed on campus for a video that accompanies his Newsweek Kaplan College Guide essay on the magazine's Web site.

Watch the video.

Read the essay.


In the essay, Cornell du Houx writes of the transition from campus to combat zone and how he struck a balance between, as he describes, a liberal campus and a conservative battalion.

"Both Bowdoin and the Marines taught me that service has no political party, no original location. The Marines taught me strength, vigilance and discipline. They opened my eyes to the dangers that most of our citizenry never think about and the honor that comes with service.

"Bowdoin taught me the values of activism, debate, intellectual curiosity and the importance of political participation. Each of these values helped instill in me the common notion that if we really want to help change our communities, big and small, we must get involved, respect each other and never give up on our visions for tomorrow."

Cornell du Houx, a government major and theater minor from Solon, Maine, was very active with community service projects and with the Maine College Democrats.

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He was elected College Democrats of America Director of Development at the College Democrats National Convention in Washington, D.C., in 2005, and National Council Chair in 2007.

Originally a member of the Class of 2006, Cornell du Houx graduated with honors in government and legal studies in 2008.

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