1806: The first Commencement was held in the second meetinghouse of First Parish Church across the street from the College.
1824: In Portland, an honorary degree was awarded to The Marquis de Lafayette.
1852: Commencement during Bowdoin's semicentennial celebration took place in a large tent on the quad. Franklin Pierce (1824) and Nathaniel Hawthorne (1825) were in attendance.
1875: On the day before Commencement, at the fiftieth reunion of the Class of 1825, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow recited his poem "Morituri Salutamus," an elegiac reflection on youth and age.
1890: This class was the first to introduce the custom of wearing academic regalia (caps and gowns) at Commencement.
1909: Admiral Robert E. Peary (1877) received an LLD in honor of his reaching the North Pole.
2005: Bowdoin celebrated its 200th Commencement.
2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bowdoin held its first virtual Commencement ceremony.