We, liberal arts students of Bowdoin, postpone professionalism. We buy into the model that taking courses from a variety of disciplines doesn’t simply prepare us for a single career path, but aids us in acquiring the skills for “life long learning.” College is a time for self-discovery and development, we’re told—a time to find our passions, make mistakes, make friends, and hone skills that will follow us in whatever we choose to pursue. College isn’t all about the silent Russian film you happen to be analyzing, or the derivatives you happen to be taking. It’s about the mini life lessons hidden in these scholarly pursuits. One Tuesday night in Druckenmiller Hall, working in lab, I got one of those mini life lessons.
Bowdoin’s endowment performed comparatively well in fiscal year (FY) 2012, with a 2.6 percent return on investments as of June 30, 2012. The endowment stands at $902.4 million, down from $904.2 million in FY 2011, when Bowdoin reported returns of 22.3 percent. Though 2.6 percent is significantly lower than the College’s projected return of 7 percent, Bowdoin fared much better than most peer institutions; Cambridge Associates, a firm that tracks endowment performance in the U.S., found that the mean for college and university endowment returns nationally was -1.0 percent in FY 2012, according to the Bowdoin Daily Sun.
This week the first affirmative action case in a decade came before the Supreme Court. The justices heard oral arguments in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, and though no opinions will be issued until well into 2013, the consequences of this case will impact public and private institutions of higher education across the country. Bowdoin, along with 37 peer schools, submitted an amicus curiae brief supporting the University of Texas that underscores the importance of cultivating diversity on American college campuses. This brief emphasizes that diversity is a crucial element of the academic, residential and social climates of liberal arts institutions.
A Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC) trip returned to campus Wednesday night after spending an extra night in the Allagash woods. The group, led by Karl Koehler ’14 and Stephen Ligtenberg ’15, had been unable to return its car in time. The group had no ability to contact the College or officials at the BOC who were left wondering why the students had failed to return their car in time.
“Work hard, play hard” was the topic up for debate at last week’s Peucinian Society meeting. Members went head to head over whether the mantra promotes a balanced lifestyle, or a clash of extremes that cheapens both work and play.