Community Messages

Fall Semester Update (July 30, 2021)
I hope you have been having a restful and fun summer, and that life has been moving closer to normal for you, your families, and your friends. With the arrival of first-year students now less than a month away and the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, I am writing to update you on our pandemic-related plans for the fall semester.

Hybrid Work Model (July 8, 2021)
I hope your summer is off to a good start. I am writing to let you know that we are modifying the requirement that all employees work in person at the College beginning on September 1.

Update on Racial Justice and DEI Work (June 28, 2021)
As this academic year draws to a close, we are writing—as promised—with an update on the work done across the College during the first six months of this calendar year to better understand the issues of racial justice and to change policies, practices, and operations in order to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College.

Vaccination Policy Information (June 24, 2021)
As I announced on April 16, the College will require everyone in the campus community to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 when we reconvene for the fall semester. Having all of us fully vaccinated is the only effective way for the College to return to normal in the fall and to protect the campus and Brunswick communities.

Message to Faculty and Staff—Thank You (June 7, 2021)
Thank you! Commencement and our virtual Reunion are now both behind us, and the vast majority of our students have left campus, and all are on to their summer endeavors. We now turn both to summer work and to rest and recharge as we move close to the end of one of the most challenging periods in the long history of our college.

Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby Support Transgender Rights with Letter to Maine Legislature (May 10, 2021)
In a joint letter to state legislators, the presidents of Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby Colleges announced their strong opposition to two anti-transgender in sports bills currently before the Maine Legislature.

Message to the Bowdoin Community—April 28, 2021
I am very pleased to announce that Stephanie B. Frost will succeed Scott Meiklejohn as our senior vice president for development and alumni relations.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—April 27, 2021
It is our tradition at the College not only to bestow honorary degrees each year to a small handful of people who are leading the way in their respective fields but to invite them to share insights from their worlds with the Bowdoin community.

Message to the Bowdoin Community—April 20, 2021
I know you join me in the hope that today’s conviction of former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd provides some solace to Mr. Floyd’s family and friends, and to so many others.

Vaccinations, Working on Campus, and Remote Work—April 16, 2021
Thank you for all that you are doing to care for one another and yourselves each day. I am writing to provide more detailed information on our plans for the fall and an eventual return to the workplace for staff.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—March 31, 2021
I am writing to share with you a message (below) that I sent today to Bowdoin alumni and parents.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—March 30, 2021
Today I am delighted to announce that the College will award our highest honor—The Bowdoin Prize—to Kenneth I. Chenault ’73, H’96 in recognition of his extraordinary career as a visionary leader of immense integrity whose life and example have long inspired and motivated so many others.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—March 26, 2021
It has been a month since our campus community completed the DiversityEdu courses, the official beginning of our college-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work together. I am grateful for the commitment of our enrolled students, faculty, and staff to completing the course, especially in light of all that has been required of you during the pandemic. There is more information about follow-on activities and learning opportunities from this course at the end of this message.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—March 24, 2021
Violence against Asians, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people of Asian descent did not begin last week or last month. While the brutal murders in Atlanta were shocking, members of the Asian community will tell you that anti-Asian racism, hate, and violence is not new and is an ever-present fear.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—March 19, 2021
Our abbreviated “spring break” begins at the conclusion of classes later today, and I encourage each of you to step back from your work and get some rest.

Message to Faculty and Staff—March 18, 2021
I hope you will join me for a special event, Bowdoin’s first Celebration of Opportunity, to be held virtually on Thursday, May 20, at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—March 17, 2021
Yesterday, we again witnessed horrific violence in our country—in this instance, the murders in Atlanta of six women of Asian identity and two white individuals.

Message to Bowdoin Alumni—March 16, 2021
Greetings from campus on a chilly but sunny early spring day in Maine. I hope you are staying healthy and safe. I’m writing to make a specific request related to our seniors, the Bowdoin Class of 2021.

Message to the Graduating Students and Their Families—March 12, 2021
I am very pleased to announce that we are changing our plans to allow for a limited number of guests to join us for Bowdoin’s 216th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 29, 2021.

Message to the Bowdoin Community—March 9, 2021
Late this afternoon, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced plans to conduct limited spring sports play on a regional basis from mid-April to mid-May, with competition scheduled on weekends. Each school will make its own decisions about engaging in this limited competition, taking into account campus protocols, equity across activities, and the ability to field teams depending on the number of athletes on campus.

Message to the Bowdoin Community—March 4, 2021
The spring semester is well underway and off to a great start, thanks to the care for one another that is a hallmark of this college. Thank you for all you are doing to stay safe and for the sense of purpose and responsibility that you show each day. Let’s keep it up!

Message to the Campus Community—March 1, 2021
Today, it is my great pleasure to announce the appointment of Claudia Marroquin ’06 as Bowdoin’s next senior vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid, and Niles Bryant as our next senior vice president and chief investment officer. Both of these appointments are effective July 1, 2021.

Message to the Campus Community—February 26, 2021
I am writing to you again about racism in our society, and specifically about anti-Asian and anti-Asian American racism. A substantial number of Asian Americans and those of Asian identity have been subjected to physical attacks and incidents of harassment motivated by their race and ethnicity.

Message to the Bowdoin Campus—February 11, 2021
On the evening of January 6, in the aftermath of the insurrection at the US Capitol, I wrote to you to say, in part, that: "’s events are a stark reminder that we take our freedoms and our democracy for granted at our peril. They require our attention and engagement…" With this in mind—and with the understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic limits the ability of others to create various programs—I have organized a semester-long series of virtual discussions with leading experts on subjects that relate to the current state of and future prospects for American democracy.

Message to Faculty and Staff—February 9, 2021
I am writing with mixed emotions to let you know that Whitney Soule will be leaving the College at the end of the academic year to join the University of Pennsylvania as vice provost and dean of admissions—news that is being announced at this hour at Penn.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—February 3, 2021
With just a couple of days until our students arrive on campus and less than a week until classes begin, I hope you are well and as excited as I am to get the spring semester underway. We are delighted that so many of our students will be on campus. We will miss those who will not be here and we look forward to engaging with them throughout the semester.

Message to the Bowdoin Community—February 1, 2021
I write with the bittersweet news that our extraordinary chief investment officer and senior vice president, Paula Volent, will be stepping down from her position at the end of the current academic year on June 30 to pursue the next chapter in what has been a varied and tremendously successful career.

Message to Bowdoin Students—January 26, 2021
I am writing today about Commencement, but first a word about the keys to making it through the spring semester safely.

Message to Faculty and Staff—January 19, 2021
I am writing today with good news: the compensation sacrifices that we asked of you at the start of the academic year will end this month.

Message to the Bowdoin Community—January 18, 2021
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday dedicated to the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the struggle for civil rights and equality. More than five decades after Dr. King was murdered, we remain far from realizing his hopes for America.

Message to Students, Faculty, and Staff—January 13, 2021
We all know the sobering reality that the COVID-19 global health crisis continues, including here in Maine. The weeks ahead–perhaps longer–will be very challenging and will continue to bring bad news. However, the distribution of vaccines is underway, bringing with them the knowledge that things will begin to improve. Ultimately, we will return to life that is increasingly more normal.

Message to the Campus Community—January 6, 2021
“A violent act for political purposes.” That’s the Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition of terrorism, and that is exactly what we saw today at the US Capitol, a terrorist act. A huge mob stormed and breached the Capitol to stop an essential act of our democracy enshrined in our Constitution: the formal counting of the Electoral College votes. It was an act incited by the president of the United States and enabled by many others over the last four years, including today. To be sure, there have been voices pushing back on the president and his enablers, but too few.