The Charter of Bowdoin College

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to amend the charter of Bowdoin College to provide for a unicameral governance structure and make certain other changes, which amendments, due to the provisions of the Articles of Separation of eighteen hundred and nineteen, require enactments by the legislatures of Maine and Massachusetts, and such amendments have been enacted by the legislature of Maine, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 12 of the acts of 1794, as previously amended, is hereby repealed and the following enacted in its place:

  • Sec. 1. There is established in the Town of Brunswick, Maine a college for the purpose of education under the name of Bowdoin College, to be under the governance of a Board of Trustees, as hereafter provided.
  • Sec. 2. The College shall be governed by a Board of Trustees with a minimum number of thirty-five (35) and a maximum number of fifty-six (56), including the President as a Trustee, until the year 2005 and thereafter with a minimum number of thirty-five (35) and a maximum number of forty-five (45), including the President as a Trustee.
  • Sec. 3. For the more orderly conducting the business of the College, the Board of Trustees shall have full power and authority, from time to time, to elect a chair and a vice-chair from among their number and a President, a Treasurer and a Secretary and such other officers as the Board deems necessary; to declare the tenures and duties of their respective offices; and to elect Trustees for such terms and upon such conditions as they may from time to time determine, and also to remove any Trustee when, in their judgment, such Trustee becomes incapable or neglects or refuses to perform the duties of the office.
  • Sec. 4. The College may have one common seal: and that all deeds signed and delivered by the Treasurer, or by such other officer as the Trustees may from time to time appoint, and sealed with its seal, by order of the Trustees, shall, when made in the corporate name, be considered in law as the deeds of the College; and that the College may sue and be sued in all actions, real, personal or mixed and may prosecute and defend the same to final judgment and execution; and that the College shall be capable of having, holding and taking, in fee simple or any less estate, by gift, grant, devise or otherwise any lands, tenements or other estate, real or personal.
  • Sec. 5. The College shall have full power and authority to determine at what times and places its meetings shall be held and on the manner of notifying the Trustees to convene at such meetings, and also, from time to time, to elect a President and Treasurer of the College, and such Professors and other officers as it shall judge most for the interest thereof, and to determine the duties, salaries, emoluments and tenures of their several offices aforesaid; and also to purchase, or erect and keep in repair, such houses and other buildings as it shall judge necessary for the College; and also to make and ordain, as occasion may require, reasonable rules, orders and bylaws, not repugnant to the laws of this State, with reasonable penalties, for the good government of the College; and also to determine and prescribe the mode of ascertaining the qualifications of the students requisite to their admission; and also to confer such degrees as are usually conferred by universities established for such education; and a majority of the Trustees present at any legal meeting shall decide all questions that may properly come before them.
  • Sec. 6. The clear rents, issues and profits of all the estate, real and personal, of which the College shall be seized or possessed shall be appropriated to the endowment of the College in such manner as shall most effectually promote virtue and piety, and the knowledge of such of the languages, and of the useful and liberal arts and sciences.
  • Sec. 7. The Treasurer of the College shall give bond to the College, in such amount and with such sureties as the Trustees shall approve of, conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of the said office and for rendering a just and true account of the doings therein, when required, and that all the monies, securities and other property of the College, together with all the books in which the accounts and proceedings, as Treasurer, were entered and kept, that appertain to the office of Treasure as aforesaid, shall, upon demand, be paid and delivered over to the successor in that office; and all monies to be recovered by virtue of any suits at law, upon such bond, shall be paid over to the College.

Adopted by vote of the Maine House of Representatives on March 21, 1996, the Maine Senate on March 22, 1996, and signed by Governor Angus S. King on April 1, 1996.

Adopted by vote of the Massachusetts House of Representatives on July 25, 1996, the Massachusetts Senate on July 30, 1996, and signed by Governor William F. Weld on August 9, 1996.

Filed with the Secretary of State, Augusta, Maine on August 29, 1996