Norma L. and Roland G. Ware Jr. '54’s Gift Makes Significant Impact on Academic Program

By Bowdoin News
Roland G. Ware Jr. ’54 and his wife, Norma, had long given generously to Bowdoin but a recent gift from their estates is now making a huge difference in the College’s academic program.

The couple’s keen interest in science, access to education, and Maine led them to establish the Norma L. and Roland G. Ware Jr. Endowed Professorship and the Roland G. and Iva M. Ware Scholarship Fund, named for Roland’s parents.

The professorship was granted to faculty members in the disciplines of chemistry, biochemistry, or any other academic department in the natural sciences. 

The scholarship fund stipulates a preference to support students from Rockland, Maine.

The Wares had supported the two funds generously during their lifetimes but after their passing, Roland in 2021 and Norma in 2022, their estates prioritized Bowdoin, adding more than $17 million to their endowed funds.

“We have never had a gift like this before,” said Scott Meiklejohn, interim senior vice president for development and alumni relations.

“It is one of the biggest gifts the College has ever had for the academic program.”

The gift activates three Norma L. and Roland G. Ware Jr. Endowed Professorships, all providing support for compensation and sabbatic leaves for faculty members specializing in the discipline of chemistry, biochemistry, or any other natural science.

The College has named three faculty members to those endowed chairs; they are Mark Battle, professor of physics; Danielle Dube, professor of chemistry and biochemistry; and Hadley Horch, professor of biology and neuroscience. Their appointments are effective July 1, 2024. 

Read more about the three new Norma L. and Roland G. Ware Jr. Endowed Professors and other faculty members recently appointed to other named chairs.

Norma and Roland Ware Jr. 54

Norma and Roland Ware Jr. '54

Having grown up in Rockland, Maine, Roland Ware came to Bowdoin, where he was a James Bowdoin Scholar and graduated summa cum laude before going on to McGill University Medical School. 

It was during his time at Montreal General Hospital that he met the woman who would become his wife. As the story goes, Norma, a nurse who was also an accomplished figure skater and artist, scrubbed in for a surgery that Roland was late for. They married in 1961 and enjoyed sixty years of travel and adventure together. 

The couple settled in Maine as Roland began a career in radiology at Maine Medical Center, where he was known fondly as an educator and mentor with a keen sense of observation and love of nature.