Elbridge Sibley Prize

Elbridge Sibley (born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1903, A.B., Amherst, 1924, A.M., 1925, and Ph.D., Columbia, 1930) taught sociology at Bowdoin College from 1932-1946. As a member of the staff of the Statistical Standards Division of the U.S. Bureau of the Budget, 1940-44, he reviewed federal statistical programs in the fields of population, health, and education. Mr. Sibley served as secretary of the President’s Committee on Selective Service from 1940-41 and he administered fellowship programs of the Social Science Research Council from 1944 through his retirement in 1971. He was recalled by the Social Science Research Council to write the history of the first fifty years of SSRC which was published in 1974.

His studies of The Recruitment, Selection, and Training of Social Scientists (1948) and of The Education of Sociologists in the United States (1963) have received nationwide attention among university educators. Among his other publications are Social Science Research Council: The First Fifty Years, SSRC 1974; “A Look Back,” in American Sociology in the 1980's, Review Journal of Philosophy and Social Science, Vol. XIn No.2, 1986 (Bombay).

Mr. Sibley, who passed away on October 4, 1994, resided in Brunswick throughout his retirement years. He contributed his sociological skills to the work of a committee concerned with Brunswick's future and served from 1979-81 on the Harpswell Comprehensive Plan Committee, providing, inter alia, demographic expertise, and work with a questionnaire for citizens concerning growth and change in Harpswell. 

The Elbridge Sibley Prize was established in 1989 in honor of Elbridge Sibley, by Milton M. Gordon '39, a student of Professor Sibley. It is awarded each year to that member of the senior class majoring in Sociology or Anthropology who has the highest mid-year general scholastic average in their Bowdoin Class.