FAQ for Alumni

Last updated: March 26, 2020

1. Does Bowdoin plan to hold Reunion 2020?
Unfortunately we will not be hosting Reunion Weekend as planned this year. Scott Meiklejohn’s message to our alumni community can be found here. Refunds will be processed starting March 23 for anyone who has already registered.

We are sorry that the classes of the 5s and 0s won’t be gathering as planned. Alumni Relations staff members are already in touch with Reunion chairs and gathering ideas about how to celebrate each class when the storm passes.

2. What about Commencement?
We will not be able to hold Commencement as scheduled in May. We will celebrate Commencement once the virus has passed and we are able to travel safely and gather in large groups again. We are committed to doing everything we can to make sure every one of our seniors has the opportunity to be here for that celebration. As soon as we have a better understanding of when this public health crisis will pass, we will begin to sort out the details for a Commencement ceremony, with participation in the planning by members of the Class of 2020.

3. Is the College closed? 
The College is not closed, but all employees except those needed for essential College operations (e.g., dining service, heating plant, security, continuing to support faculty teaching remotely, etc.) are working remotely. The development and alumni relations offices will be available on email and by phone during business hours, generally 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

4. Can alumni visit campus?
Because of our concerns around COVID-19, and in order to ensure that our essential work can continue, as of Monday, March 16, we will—for now—restrict access to College facilities to students permitted to remain on campus and to faculty and essential staff.

5. Will Bowdoin be holding regional events as usual?
Unfortunately, no. For the time being, all Bowdoin regional gatherings have been canceled. Notices will be sent to registrants regarding each event currently on the calendar.

6. How does the College make decisions like this? What’s the process?
There is no established process for a decision like this. The COVID-19 outbreak represents an unprecedented health crisis and is creating challenges for every aspect of our society. The administration, in consultation with medical experts, faculty, and trustees, made this decision in order to protect those on our campus who are most at risk from COVID-19 and to ensure the continuity of learning and teaching so that all students can complete the semester for academic credit.

7. The Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon is a great occasion when I get to meet the students who are connected to my scholarship fund—will that take place in May as usual?  
There will be no students on campus for the rest of the semester, so we will not be able to hold the Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon this year.

8. How does this affect admissions?
All in-person admissions tours, information sessions, and accepted student programming has been canceled for the remainder of the semester. Decisions were released for applicants to the Class of 2024 on Friday, March 13, and the admissions and financial aid teams are doing outreach and virtual programs to replace the campus activity that would usually take place in April.

9. How can I keep updated with what is happening? 
Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ for updated information on the College’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

10. How can I help?
Please write to Scott Meiklejohn, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, or to anyone at Bowdoin with whom you have a relationship to share your suggestions. The College has attempted to clear away as many financial hurdles as possible for students as they have transitioned to remote learning in response to COVID-19.  This has involved a tremendous community effort and a significant number of unanticipated expenses including travel, moving and storage, wages paid for work-study through the end of the semester, and many more categories of support.  If you would like to make a gift to support Bowdoin’s commitment to students during this unprecedented time you may donate here. Thank you very much.

11. It must be a tough time for seniors, finishing the semester and looking for a job—can I help?
At this time of year, many seniors are searching for jobs—and students in other class years are searching for internships. Any listings or leads you know of are tremendously helpful to us. Please send any information about jobs, internships, or leads directly to Sarah Cotsen, director of employer relations, at scotsen@bowdoin.edu.