Making a good impression on prospective students in the midst of one of the coldest winters in recent memory may be a daunting task, but Bowdoin’s Office of Admissions is up to the challenge. 

While some schools may be able to provide friendlier climates, Bowdoin has come up with a unique offering of its own—a sense of humor.
For the last few weeks, Admissions has adopted a Hawaiian theme. Snow-covered tiki torches and beach chairs grace what is left of the front lawn, and tour guides have been donning Hawaiian shirts from Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn’s personal collection. 

Admissions has also installed a hot chocolate bar, over which a banner reads, “It’s Snow Big Deal.”

“Admissions was concerned that visitors coming to Brunswick would be a little bit scared away by our harsh weather conditions,” said Head Tour Guide Adrienne Chistolini ’15. “They wanted to do some sort of visually pleasing campaign to make jokes out of it and show that we’re really lighthearted and optimistic people at Bowdoin.”

The “Hawaiian Shirt Campaign,” has garnered a fair amount of attention, with WMTW, the local ABC affiliate, picking up the story last week. 

Michelle Johnson ’15, was interviewed by an WMTW news crew.

“That was kind of an accident. The news was coming during my tour slot and [the other tour guides] picked me because last semester I was the assistant head tour guide,” she said. “They gave me about an hour warning and were like, ‘Be camera ready!’ and I was very unshowered and had just come from volunteering at a preschool, and I was like, ‘Whatever, I can work with this!’”

Chistolini and Johnson feel the program has been a success. Both said that prospective students and their families have been, at the very least, amused by Admissions’ latest antics, and anything that helps Bowdoin stand out must be considered a positive.

“[The campaign shows that] we can make light of a potentially very dismal and depressing situation,” said Chistolini. “Hopefully it makes us stand out on their long college tours as a school that’s a little bit different, a little bit kooky but in a funny way.”

Even in late February, Bowdoin has many more weeks of snow to look forward to, and as it continues to trudge through the winter, one thing can be certain: Admissions will not allow a little snow to become a big deal.