Location: Bowdoin / Campus Life / Health & Wellness

Campus Life

Life Balance

At Bowdoin students are challenged to integrate all facets of themselves as they pursue their academic interests. The programs below highlight the College’s commitment to developing a culture of self reflection, personal responsibility for physical health, comprehensive fitness opportunities and psychological and emotional balance. The health and happiness of each student are of paramount importance in the Bowdoin educational experience.

Being Well at Bowdoin

2014 New Fitness/Wellness Program

A new robust fitness and wellness program.

The Wellness Center

The Wellness Center offers an array of yoga, Tai Chi/Qigong, and meditation classes throughout the week.  Seminars, workshops, and retreats are offered in the evenings and weekdays to educate students about a range of mind/body/spirit-oriented practices that include information about acupuncture, massage, reflexology, Chinese Medicine, and integrative medicine approaches to health and well-being.

Fitness & Lifetime Sports

Wellness and lifetime sports at Bowdoin are intended to promote and educate one’s personal well-being. It is our goal to provide physical and social opportunities conducted in an educational and safe atmosphere.  read more..


Bowdoin's athletic & intramural programs offer a wonderful complement to students' academic experience. The expansive program operates 31 varsity teams, several club teams, an active intramural program and multiple classes for fitness and lifetime sport.

Health Services

Student Health Services is committed to promoting the health and well being of the Bowdoin College community by providing quality primary care and educational outreach services. Our approach is comprehensive and holistic, and emphasizes health promotion, disease prevention and individual self-advocacy. Our goal is to foster wellness, in the broadest sense, within the College community as a whole, and for every individual member..  read more...

Counseling Service

The mission of Counseling Service is to promote students’ psychological and emotional well being, within a safe, confidential environment, through a full range of psychological support and consultation services. read more...

Spiritual Life Advisors

Bowdoin College welcomes students of varied faiths and spiritual backgrounds. Students may choose to practice their faith through established student groups on campus or with traditional religious communities in the greater Brunswick/Portland area. The College chapel and 30 College St. house with its kosher and hallal kitchen serve as places of worship for several of our student groups. A committee of spiritual life advisors meets regularly under the auspices of the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to plan multifaith campus events.  Organizations include the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship, the Bowdoin Catholic Student Union and Hillel, among others.  See Google for a list of area religious services.

Wellness Center

The Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness opened Tuesday, September 22, 2009, ushering in a new era of wellness at Bowdoin.

The center's fitness areas — cardiovascular fitness and weight machines on the ground floor, free weights and rowing machines on the lower level — opened at 6:30 a.m. The College's Department of Health Services, relocated to the Buck Center's third floor from Dudley Coe, is scheduled to begin operations in the new building Friday, Sept. 25.

The Buck Center, made possible through the generosity of Dr. Peter Buck '52, is an addition to the Morrell Gym complex housing exercise rooms, the College's health center, athletic department offices and flexible space that can seat up to 40 people for academic classes and meetings.

"The new Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness is a wonderful addition to the Bowdoin campus and a place where every member of our community can pursue and realize their health and wellness goals," said Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster.  Read More >>

Wellness Center
Evening rendering of west side of the new Fitness, Health and Wellness Center.

Dr. Bernie Hershberger

Bernie R. Hershberger
Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Director of Counseling Services

Dr. Hershberger went to Goshen College as an undergraduate and the Ohio State University for graduate school. He has worked at Boston University, University of Missouri, and Bowling Green State University before coming to Bowdoin College. Dr Hershberger also worked at the Jackson Brook Psychiatric Hospital Outpatient Department for six years immediately prior to working at Bowdoin College. Areas of interest include; treatment of anxiety, hypnosis, sports psychology, meditation, and Buddhist psychology.


Birgit Pols

Birgit Pols, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.
Director of Health Services

Dr. Birgit Pols is joined the Bowdoin community as Director of Health Services in August 2014. She is responsible for the daily operation and oversight of the medical staff and services at Bowdoin’s Health Center in the Peter S. Buck Center for Health and Fitness.

A native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Birgit has 25 years of medical experience, the last eight of which were spent immersed in college health. She was most recently the director of health and wellness for both the New York University Abu Dhabi Health and Wellness Center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and for NYU Global Sites, where she balanced clinical and administrative duties. Pols was previously the lead physician at the NYU Health Center in New York City, providing primary and urgent health care to the student population.


Neil Willey

Neil Willey
Head Coach of Strength and Conditioning

Neil Willey was named Head Coach of Strength and Conditioning at Bowdoin in February of 2013. A native of Maine, Willey comes to Bowdoin from the University of Arizona, where he most recently served as the Director of Olympic Sports Strength and Conditioning. He has extensive experience with athletes of both genders and worked with the University of Arizona's baseball, softball, swimming, tennis, football and basketball teams during his time in Tucson. 

In 2008, Willey was named the J.F. "Pop" McKale Coach of the Year by a vote of University of Arizona student-athletes. During the 2007-08 school year, he helped three Wildcat teams earn NCAA Division I Championships: softball, men's swimming and women's swimming.  The award is based on contributions to the athletic department and a commitment to being a positive role model for student-athletes.

Willey is a graduate of the University of Maine and he earned a M.A. in Sports Administration from the University of Arizona.  While at the University of Maine, Neil was a captain of the track team. He attended high school at Medomak Valley in Waldoboro.