The College lost a valuable faculty member when Visiting Assistant Professor Leslie Shaw died unexpectedly on August 29 following complications from surgery. Shaw, who taught anthropology at the College since 1998, “set a high bar for service, excellence and collegiality,” wrote Dean for Academic Affairs Christle Collins Judd in an email to the Orient. In addition to her teaching and research, Shaw served as the adviser to the Native American Students Association at Bowdoin.
The men’s rugby team was required to forfeit two matches after the Office of Student Affairs found the team had violated Bowdoin’s alcohol and hazing policies on September 15, the night of the annual Epicuria party at Ladd House. The Office of Residential Life placed Ladd House on social probation until November 1, and both the president and vice president of the house stepped down from their positions. Four underage students were transported to Parkview Adventist Medical Center for over-consumption of alcohol on the night of the event.
The Bowdoin Daily Sun reported a 2.6 percent return on the endowment for fiscal year 2012, with the endowment standing at $904.2 million as of October 12. Despite a projected return of 7 percent, the endowment performed well in comparison to peer institutions.
A Bowdoin Outing Club canoe trip spent a night lost in the Allagash woods on October 9 with no ability to contact the College or officials at the BOC. The trip’s participants abandoned their canoes and bushwhacked to a road, where they hitchhiked back to their car. The canoes were recovered the following weekend.
The Amtrak Downeaster arrived at Brunswick Station on November 2, the first time in 53 years that a passenger train reached Brunswick. The project to extend Amtrak service to Brunswick was approved in 2010 and funded by a $38.3 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration.
Barack Obama was reelected president of the United States; Angus King, former Maine governor and distinguished lecturer at Bowdoin, won a seat as an independent in the U.S. Senate; and Maine approved same-sex marriage in the 2012 elections on November 9. King later chose to caucus with the Democrats.
Matt Goodrich ’15 began a campaign urging the College to divest its endowment from fossil fuels. Challenging Bowdoin’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020, Goodrich collected over 450 signatures for his “I Believe Carbon Neutral Means Carbon Free” petition, calling on the College to invest “only in clean energy by 2013.”
President Mills told a group of students—who later adopted the name Bowdoin Climate Action—petitioning for divestment from fossil fuels that the College would not divest its endowment in the immediate future. Mills noted he “would never say never,” after meeting with Goodrich and others, whose petition to divest had accumulated 470 signatories as of December 4.
The Brunswick Town Clerk’s office began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on December 29 as a result of Maine’s November vote to legalize same-sex marriage. As of January 25, the office had issued nine intentions of marriage to same-sex couples.
Susan Danforth, associate director of communications and College editor, died on January 27 after suffering a stroke. Danforth arrived at the College in October 2000 and edited all official College publications throughout her 12-year tenure at Bowdoin. Her “careful work touched every corner of our campus for more than a decade,” as President Mills wrote in an email to all College employees.
The Brunswick Police Department (BPD) arrested Holly Lorms, assistant coach of the women’s ice hockey team, on January 28 under suspicion that she crashed her car into Druckenmiller Hall while under the influence.
In response to the growing movement on-campus to divest the College’s endowment from fossil fuels, President Mills and Paula Volent, senior vice president for investments, provided a statement to the Orient explaining on that approximately 1.4 percent of Bowdoin’s endowment is currently invested in the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. According to the statement, divesting from these companies would require a turnover of 25 percent of the endowment. “Over a ten-year period we would lose over $100 million,” said Volent.
According to a survey distributed by the Orient on February 12, 58 percent of students have smoked marijuana on campus and recreational drug use among Bowdoin students tends to increase as graduation approaches. Hard drug use is limited to smaller social circles, according to the survey.
The men’s and women’s hockey teams won their respective NESCAC Championship games on March 3. The men's team defeated Williams 2-1, winning its first NESCAC Championship since the team vacated its 2011 title due to a hazing violation. The women’s team earned its first championship since 2004 after a similar 2-1 victory against Middlebury.
In an email to the student body on April 2, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and the Athletics Department reported that the men’s tennis team had violated the College’s hazing policy. As a result, the team forfeited four matches and was barred from post-season competition this year.
The National Association of Scholars (NAS) released “The Bowdoin Project,” a 360-page report criticizing Bowdoin’s academic life and endorsing conservative principles at the College on April 3. Independently commissioned and funded by NAS board member Thomas Klingenstein, the report accuses Bowdoin of having “a campus dominated by a progressive ideology that is rather hostile to American nationhood, and certainly to western civilization.” In a response posted on the Bowdoin Daily Sun, President Mills refuted many of the report’s claims and labeled it “a vindictive effort…intended to harm and discredit this historic college.”
Jose Cespedes ’12 died on April 16 after battling liver disease for six months. Cespedes, who studied history and government while at Bowdoin, was scheduled to receive his diploma in May, according to Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster.