Campus News

Reunion Convocation Address: President Barry Mills '72

Story posted June 01, 2009

President Barry Mills welcomed alumni and their families during Reunion Convocation, held Saturday, May 30, 2009, in Sidney J. Watson Arena.

Barry MillsThumb.jpg
President Barry Mills '72

In his address, Mills spoke of the current economic downturn and the challenges his predecessor, President Kenneth "Casey" Sills, faced during the Great Depression.

"The daunting issues facing Casey Sills and Bowdoin three quarters of a century ago help to put our time in perspective, and they remind us of the resiliency of this College," Mills said.

"While today's recessionary times are serious, we do not yet find ourselves in the throes of an economic depression of the 1930's dimension, nor do we face the draconian measures contemplated by Sills in 1932. Bowdoin is better positioned to deal with our country's economic issues that at any time in its history. Nonetheless, I do believe we are at a point of fundamental change for colleges and universities in America."

Common Good, Alumni Council Awards Presented

The 2009 Common Good Award and two Alumni Council awards — the Alumni Service Award and the Distinguished Educator Award — were presented during Reunion Convocation.

The Alumni Service Award was presented to Mark Bayer '79, the Distinguished Educator Award was given to Robert "Sandy" Ervin '69, and the Common Good Award went to Mike Fiore '76.

Read more about the awards.


Mills also spoke of the future and reinforcing for everyone the excellence of Bowdoin.

"During the next period, successful colleges and universities will — I believe — be defined not by their architecture or by programs designed to respond to the latest educational fad. Rather, I believe, successful colleges and universities will be defined by their commitment to a central mission and by their ability to make a significant difference in solving the challenges of our world. And, to be more specific, successful colleges and universities will be defined by the people who define the institutions," he said.

"In order to ensure our place in the world, we will continue to support and enhance our faculty in their teaching, research, scholarship and artistic work because we understand that above all else it is the quality of our faculty that defines the strength of our College."

Read the full text of President Mills' remarks here.

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