The Bowdoin Orient
Volume CXXXII, Number 1
September 8, 2000
News ... Features ... Opinion ... A&E ... Sports
For years, Bowdoins chem-free population pleaded with Residential Life
for a college house other than Howard Hall. This year, their wish came true.
On June 16, Bowdoin purchased the Alpha Delta Phi (AD) house and turned it over to a group of eager residents who are now calling the former fraternity house their home.
Over the summer, facilities crews spent countless hours repainting, refurnishing, and redecorating the new college house.
The brick house neighboring the Joshua Chamberlain Museum also has a new name. In honor of Roger Howell, the Colleges tenth president, Bowdoins latest addition to the college house system has been named Howell House.
Howell was a graduate of the class of 1958. He became president in 1969 and was one of the youngest college presidents in the country. At 32, he was able to implement many new programs for the college.
Within his tenure, he saw the admittance of women to the college along with the creation of the African-American Studies program. He was also a proud member of AD, and so it is only appropriate that the new house be named after such an important and influential character in the colleges long history.
Since it was built in the mid-1920s, 228 Maine Street has always been the home of Bowdoins ADs. Needless to say, there was quite an uproar when the College decided to do away with the fraternity system.
In addition, there was a lot of opposition to the sale of the house itself, but in the end, the deal was signed, and Bowdoin officially ended a 148-year tradition. Howells proctor, Justin Watras 02, who encountered some visiting ADs, commented that they were as pleased as they could have been about the situation.
In fact, a lot of artifacts remain from ADs days. Books, records, handprints of the former members, along with the fraternitys seal and logo on the roof still remain. The house itself has probably never looked better. Watras admits that he is very impressed with what facilities accomplished over the course of the summer.
The walls of Howell still smell of fresh paint when one walks inside. The wooden floor shines, and the smell of new in-room-furniture lingers in the halls. But this is not all. In the coming weeks, the house expects to receive custom-made furniture, and in the coming months, a new paved driveway is planned.
Director of Residential Life Robert Graves spoke of other plans for Howells future. Talk of elevators and further renovations is in the air. In the meantime, however, the house residents are in awe with what the College has given them. A dedication ceremony is planned for October 21, Homecoming weekend, when former AD members, as well as other friends of the College, are invited to view the house in all its glory. Before then, however, Watras would love to hold a reception for everyone who has worked so hard to make Howell a reality.
Howell is the new social house for chem-free Hyde Hall. Picking up the torch from Howards residents, Howells leaders have a long list of activities planned for the upcoming months, including mid-week breaks, apple-picking trips, and the irrelevant games, something the author has been promised will take the campus by storm and will include the first ever squirrel-catching contest at Bowdoin.
When asked about his feelings on Howell, Owen Strachan 03, the house president had the following to say: Weve received a tremendous gift, a beautiful gift that we take pride in. Well be doing our best to maximize the opportunities this house presents physically and socially.
Strachan went on to say, We want people to see our house not as a chem-free house but as a fun, exciting, happening place in which we force ourselves to be a little more creative Were ultimately trying to show people that the stigma on chem-free is untrue. The stigma being that we are a bunch of boring kids, sitting in their rooms and studying. It is true that most of us have a commitment to education, but is it a mistake to assume that we dont have fun, that we arent interesting.
Strachan is very optimistic about the new year. He hopes that people will stop by Howell and see the place for themselves.
While former AD members must continue to feel the pain of losing what they considered their home, the College has tried its best to keep alive a part of its past and is trying to steer its residential programs in a new direction. The general consensus in Howell is that the house is truly amazing and a hearty thanks to Robert Graves along with the rest of the Residential Life staff and the facilities department is in order.
A year ago the last residents of AD were probably bitter and frustrated at their untimely eviction, but now with a new president and a new goal, the future for 228 Maine Street looks bright.
To use Strachans inviting words, The people are friendly, the sound system is bumpin, and the floors shine brightly in Howell House.
1. Schneider, Kim. A Look Back: Alpha Delta Phi The Bowdoin Orient, Volume CXXXI, Number 7, Friday October 29, 1999.
2. Calhoun, Charles. A small college in Maine: two hundred years of Bowdoin. Brunswick, Me. : Bowdoin College, 1993
The Author would also like to thank:
Owen Strachan 03, Justin Watras 02, Brian Calabrese 03, Philip Sharp 03, Keegan Callanan 03, and Robert Graves
The Bowdoin College Career Planning Centers (CPC) recently returned senior
surveys suggest a marked trend toward a higher percentage of the student body
immediately entering the workforce after graduation.
Although the data from the surveys is only preliminary, an overview of data collected from seniors at graduation from 1996 through 2000 shows that 40.2 percent of last years graduating class had definite plans for employment at graduation. That figure is a substantial increase from the Class of 1996, of which 23.5 percent students had definite plans for employment at graduation.
One of the most obvious reasons for the visible trend is the current state of the American economy. Unemployment is extremely low, and employers are increasingly looking to recent college graduates in order to fill an abundance of vacant job slots requiring qualified employees.
Anne Shields, Bowdoins new director of career planning, speculated that the combination of a fertile job market and a liberal arts degree has given recent seniors a great deal of options in terms of employment. Shields also cited the influence of the increased flow of information over the internet, which allows Bowdoin to cross-reference its job openings with those of other schools across the country.
Another trend visible among Bowdoin graduates and those across the country is a general decrease in the amount of students immediately enrolling in graduate and professional schools after graduation. There was an 11.3 percent decrease in Bowdoin seniors planning to enroll in graduate and professional schools immediately following graduation.
Shields attributed this pattern to the higher cost of undergraduate education and suggested that families are becoming more cautious about their children attending graduate school before getting a stable job. Additionally, some of the better graduate and professional schools are looking for graduates that have taken a year or two off from school in order to gain experience and become a stronger candidate.
Of those students planning to go directly into graduate school, 25 percent were planning to go to law school, 21 percent were planning to earn a degree in the sciences, 18 percent were planning to go into art/social science graduate school, and 18 percent were planning to enter into a health or medicine professional school.
Current students may be surprised by the amount of variation in the types of employment held by last years graduates. Ninety-eight percent of the Class of 2000 filled out the senior survey during graduation weekend.
Out of the 41 percent of graduating seniors who had definite job plans, 18 percent were employed by the business community, 5 percent in communication, 16 percent in education, 9 percent in finance, 3 percent in the arts, 8 percent in health/science professions, 5 percent in computer science, 5 percent in law, 9 percent in social service, and 3 percent had a fellowship or other specific plans.
Shields isnt surprised. Ive worked at this type of college for most of my career. When people tell you that you can do anything you want with a liberal arts education, its not reassuring. But as students mature, their understanding of the world broadens and they consider other fields that they may never have thought about before.
Shields is especially enthusiastic about the new eBEAR student-profiling system. (See related article, page 2.)
eBEAR is an online resource for Bowdoin students looking for internships. She envisions eBEAR becoming more visible on campus as it allows students to develop relationships with employers and change their interests in internships as they move through Bowdoin.
Graduates from the Class of 1999 are currently working for a variety of well-known companies, including Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, J.P Morgan, and Chase Securities in business and the law firms of Brann and Isaacson and Simpson, Thatcher, and Bartlett. In health and medicine, 1999 graduates are currently working for the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, Boston Childrens Hospital, and the National Institute of Health.
Students are also working for a variety of special-interest groups such as Holt International, Americorps, The Nature Conservancy, and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
Some 1999 graduates are involved with the Peace Corps and one graduate is employed at the United States embassy in Dar-es-Salam.
Recent graduates from Bowdoin have spread their wings in a variety of fields, from high finance to civil service.
Two Years Beneath the Pines will be a series of articles by an alumnus reminiscing
about life at Bowdoin back in the fifties. Originally from Bonn, Germany, Ludwig
Rang spent two years at Bowdoin, the first in 1954/55 on a Fulbright, the second
in 1956/57 on a Rotary scholarship.
After graduating with honors in English he enrolled at Columbia University to study literature, dropping out after only a few semesters due to illness. Intending to stay in America, he was granted immigrant status in 1959, six months later drafted, and, at his own request, stationed in Germany.
Discharged in 1963, he spent the next few years on the West Coast doing odd jobs, including fruit picking and sorting letters at the San Francisco Post Office.
These stints were interrupted by a six-month interlude with the Living Theatre of New York on tour in Berlin, before he returned to Europe for good in 1969 and became a bookseller.
Since 1981, unmarried though with a son born and bred in England, he has made his home in London. Rang has been writing autobiographically for some time and his memoir of college life is merely part of a greater project he is hoping to have published some day soon. As Rang told the Orient, he thought it would be nice to share these reminiscences with the present generation of students at his alma mater, and we are happy to let him do so.
America to young Germans after the war was like the Promised Land. Everyone
dreamt of going there, if not for good then at least as a so-called exchange
student. For me, the dream came true when I won a Fulbright scholarship at age
18 and fresh out of school.
The college I would be attending was Bowdoin, an all-male school. I had to look Maine up on a map. Brunswick presumably was named after Braunschweig in Germany and its ducal family related by marriage to the Hanoverians: a small eighteenth-century world, grown even smaller in the twentieth.
Travel across the Big Pond, however, still was to be by boat: a small Dutch liner named Sibajak, after a volcano on Borneo. The journey took nearly twelve days.
But, delightfully enough, the boat was full of American students returning home after spending the summer in Europe, plus a handful of German Fulbrights bound for New York and the greatest adventure of their young lives. The Sibajak left Rotterdam on August 30, 1954.
Our departure for the New World was overshadowed by news typical of the Old. The French Parliament, we heard, had just rejected a treaty providing for German rearmamenta controversial idea first mooted after the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, but eventually accepted after all.
Two days out to sea, a panel discussion on German Rearmament was held on board, moderated by a history teacher from the University of Pennsylvania who suggested that one of us Fulbrights should be included on the panel.
The task fell to me, solely because my English due to a recent stay of several months in London was better than that of the others. I dont really remember what I said, except that most of us were in favour of rearmament, not as an end in itself but as a means of safeguarding our fledgling democracy from outside attack, as had happened in Korea.
This predictably got a big round of applause. Among those coming up to me afterwards was an art student from Philadelphia called Simon, with italianate features resembling those of Franz Kafka, the moderator observed. Professor Dill himself was fair-haired and with looks, at times even in a comical manner, vaguely resembling Danny Kay. As for me, dark-haired and brown-eyed like Simon, no one (thank God) thought I looked typically German. The three of us were to become good friends.
The political storm (in a tea cup) was followed by a real one in the shape of hurricane Carol, the third of the season, wreaking havoc along the Eastern seaboard of the United States as far north as New England.
Strong gusts reportedly had toppled the tower of historic North Church in Boston from where the lantern signals for Paul Reveres famous midnight ride had been given: a first lesson in American history and the violence of perennial hurricanes, oddly enough named after women. (Apparently it hadnt occurred to anyone yet that doing so might be considered sexist).
After the storm subsided, the rest of our crossing was deceptively calm. Simon and I used to stand by the railing watching flying fish jump.
Sometimes he would half turn and give me, I wasnt sure why, a dazzling smile. And he would teach me songs like My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean. Mine, I told him mine was called Rosemary, an English girl a bit older than me who Id met a few months ago.
A trained social worker, Rose ran the youth club at a settlement in Londons East End. Helping out there in the evenings while working on a building site during the day, Id developed a hopeless crush on Roseprobably because I was a complete innocent still, something I was hoping would change in America.
In the first light of day on September 10, a thin grey line appeared on the horizon. America? No, Simon grinned, just Long Island.
An hour or so later we were passing through the Narrows, not yet bridged, into Upper New York Bay. The Statue of Liberty came into sight, and beyond it the skyline of lower Manhattan not yet deformed by the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
The only disappointment was that the Sibajak docked at Hoboken on the New Jersey side of the Hudson river, a dump Simon said. But prospects soon brightened. He was going to stay with his Aunt on Park Avenue for a couple of days he told me, and was sure she wouldnt mind if he brought a friend.
Thus it was I spent my first night in America in a swank apartment a few blocks from the Waldorf Astoria. Her first night, the Aunt told me, had been spent on Ellis Island. Her younger brother, Simons father, now an advertising executive, had started life in the Promised Land as a dishwasher in the Ghetto of the Lower East Side, the proverbial self-made man.
She had married a Wall Street broker. Suddenly, it dawned on me that Simons Aunt and he too of course were both Jewish. Despite tragic and all too recent happenings, they warmly welcomed a young German not yet even born when Hitler came to power.
That evening we went to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Radio City Music Hall. Coming out at about midnight and walking back through Times Square, we were caught in a torrential downpour, thanks to yet another hurricane, the fifth of the season, called Edna.
Making a dash for a kiosk, Simon bought a copy of the next days New York Times, thicker than the Sunday Observer, giving me half as makeshift headgear, a soggy mess within minutes.
The next morning, the sun shone on New York as we glimpsed from the top of the Empire State Building. Coming down, I ate my first hot dog and had my shoes shined by a black man flicking his cloth with a sound resembling small gun shots. Amerika da hast es besser, Goethe had famously said. America was better off, blithely ignoring an evil that was to blight American civilization.
But with the Supreme Court a few months earlier having passed down an historic decision on segregation in schools, there was still hope. Bowdoin, of course, had neither female nor black students yeta German less than a decade after the war I suppose being exotic enough.
LONDON- The first indication that this isnt a commuter flight to the
Portland International Jetport comes when the flight attendant comes around
with complimentary bottles of Baileys Irish Cream, two hours into a six-hour
Fifty-seven students from Colby, Bates and Bowdoin are on the flight to London, England, enrolled in the CBB London program for the fall.
Well be taking classes in government, history, biology or a combination of the three. Classes, however, wont start until weve had three days on our own in the city, and to ignore the local pubs would be almost criminal.
Id heard that Virgin Atlantic flights were pretty luxurious. Legroom seems to be as small as any other airline, but the food is good, and all the seats have those little TVs with a choice of movies.
I see a British guy across the aisle playing Super Mario Brothers on his but I cant get that to work on mine.
Meeting all of the other students naturally reminds me of freshman orientation, minus a lot of the nervousness. Topics of conversation include which college were from, do we know random students X, Y, and Z from that school, what classes well be taking, and so on.
Some people sleep; I get about 45 minutes in before the flight attendant wakes me up, bearing another round of Baileys. Tough life these Brits lead.
Day 2: Gatwick Airport, on the outskirts of London
A little math is necessary to understand how brain-dead tired everyone is as
we look for our luggage (all huge suitcases and duffels).
The flight left at 8:20 p.m. Eastern time, and when the plane landed, our internal clocks said 3:00 a.m. while the airport clocks said 9:00 a.m. The CBB staff, in a well-meaning effort to overcome that jet lag, had a full day of orientation planned. I dont remember much about that day, but a few of us persevered long enough that night to find the Rat and Parrot pub, near Leciester Square (think Times Square and youll get the idea). Ahh, warm beer.
Day 5: Bloomsbury Square
It had to happen sooner or later: classes begin. I walk out of our apartment
building in West London, and ten minutes later Im on the TubeLondons
fantastic subway system. Another ten minutes and Im at Holburn, the station
nearest to the CBB classroom building in Bloomsbury Square.
Anyone used to Maines motor laws dealing with pedestrians is in for a shock here. Giant two-story buses have their own lane by the curb and if any body parts extend into the street, theyll probably get whacked.
Cars dont usually acknowledge the existence of people crossing the street, and motorcyclists snake in and out of the smallest holes in traffic. One guy pulled over to yell at us dumb Americans after he almost clipped us coming around a corner.
The first classes are short, mostly just introductions to the syllabus. Some of the professors are from the three Maine colleges (Paul Franco, from the government department, is here); others are British professors from nearby universities. Books are proving hard to find; amazon.co.uk is helpful.
The good news: By my estimate, over half of us dont have classes on Thursdays or Fridays. As usual, the bio students are left holding the bag as the only ones with any classes on Fridays (a field trip to Iceland takes some of the sting out of this).
Naturally, a three- or four-day weekend is like a big blank check to travel. Paris, Amsterdam, Morocco, Florencename a European city and someone will be planning to go there.
Email access is free at the CBB Center, so its a good place to be even when classes are out. The great god of Webmail toyed with me for the first few days, but now it seems to work pretty well.
If it continues to work, more of these dispatches will show up, assuming those [brilliant] Orient editors dont screw them up like they [never] do. I hope they dont edit this too heavily.
In the hall of Civil War legends, Joshua Chamberlain stands side by side with
fellow greats like Grant, Lee, Jackson, and Sherman. And it is because of Chamberlain
that many history and Civil War buffs are drawn to Bowdoin.
But once they are here, they soon learn that Bowdoin sent more than one rhetoric professor to the War for the Union. Many of Bowdoins sons fought in the War, and their names can be found in the lobby of the newly renovated Pickard Theater. Among the many names is a fellow in the class of 1850 known as Oliver Otis Howard.
Yes, thats the same Howard that Howard Hall is named after, and it is rather appropriate that the dorm is named in his honor. Howard did not drink or partake in any activities, which he thought would offend the higher powers he sought all his life to please.
In 1861, while Joshua Chamberlain fretted about the Union cause, Howard was already leading a brigade in the First Battle of Bull Run. In 1862 when Chamberlain finally enlisted, Howard had already lost an arm. At Gettysburg, while Chamberlains star began to rise, Howard reached the low point of his military career and was then sent West, where he served for the remainder of the War with great skill.
For those who are familiar with military history, Oliver Howards name is infamous with the Union disaster at Chancellorsville and the rout on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Yet, Howard continued to serve the Union cause, losing an arm for his beloved country in 1862.
He eventually rose to the command of the Army of the Tennessee and accompanied William Tecumseh Sherman on his legendary march to the sea.
\After the War he was commissioned a major general in the regular army, headed the Freedmens Bureau, fought Native Americans out West where he forced the surrender of Chief Joseph, founded two universities, and campaigned for African-American education.
As great as his achievements were, Howards success did not come easily. Left and right, his critics assailed him for his beliefs in human rights, his military blunders, his somewhat self-obsessed personality, and his faith in mans Creator.
Bowdoin tends to forget that there were others in her illustrious past aside from Chamberlain. It is my hope that the following series brings forth General Howards contributions to American history and sheds some light on this forgotten individual.
In the Beginning:
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Maine was still a lightly populated
state with millions of pine trees, countless lakes, and dreadful winters. The
settlers of the time enjoyed the varying seasons and looked forward to a prosperous
future in the great experiment, which was America.
Twice, the great British Empire had been pushed back, showing that the Americans would not put up with any reign except for freedom. And so the nation was new and young and naive, unknowing that within its very constitution and deep within the subconscious of the land, a dark seed of anger and disunion awaited to turn the peaceful fields of the unspoiled continent into a slaughter pen for thousands.
In a small town called Leeds, northwest of Augusta and on the Androscoggin River, a boy by the name of Oliver Otis Howard was born to Rowland Bailey and Eliza Howard on November 8, 1830. He was named for his mothers father, a native of Massachusetts whose family had come from England. The boy was an older brother to two other children.
He was stocky, aggressive but intelligent and fortunate enough to attend school in his early years. When not in class or defending his honor on the playgrounds, he would explore the farm he lived on, attend church or sit and listen to stories of the Revolution. When he was five, an African-American boy was brought to his family and young Oliver took him as his friend, understanding then and there that all humans were equal despite what other people said.
After his fathers death in 1840, Olivers life became one of travel. He had always understood the importance of education, writing to his mother in February 1847, Education is my first aim I seek not mere money but a cultivated and enlightened mind, becoming and corresponding with the age in which we live.
Moving thrice within two years he attended two schools and found himself living with his mothers brother, John Otis. Oliver stayed with Otis and his family for a while, working on the farm and searching for more educational avenues. He attended Monmouth Academy, preparing for college.
Then in 1846 he moved again to North Yarmouth Academy, not too far from Portland. Oliver studied hard, rising at four every morning to work almost entirely without recess. He strove to enter Bowdoin College, at that time (and currently) the foremost educational facility in the state. He was accepted in the fall of 1846.
During his years at Bowdoin, Howard seems to have matured in many ways. He worked hard and took to philosophical thought.
Another day has gone, gone forever, he wrote, which gives one less day for me to live & one less for the world to stand. We know yet we consider not how fast time passes, we are too apt to think tomorrow will be like today and to forget our time on earth is limited still we pursue the same careless if not sinful course day after day heedless of all except present gratification.
While Howard mused about the passing of life, on the far side of the young nation the war with Mexico had started and the men that Howard would meet later in his life got their baptism of fire. Howard seemed not to care about national issues.
Too engrossed with his own schoolwork and his philosophical ramblings, he was also taken by the beauty of a young girl named Elizabeth Ann Waite. He fell madly in love with her and even quit cigar smoking for her.
(He would be unable, however to shake the habit and would soon take up smoking again. As for liquor which was as present back then as it is today on the Colleges campus, Howard had nothing at all to do with it.)
During his junior year at Bowdoin, Oliver and Elizabeth got engaged. While his love life blossomed and while Howard himself taught school during winter, he still had no idea what to do with his life. He had acquired a considerable amount of knowledge by his senior year and finished near the top of his class. Now, Oliver Howard needed a calling. He wanted to make use of himself somehow but he was as clueless as ever as to what his career would be.
Elsewhere, the dust of the Mexican War had settled and while the young nation returned to peace, hoping that no more wars would ignite the land, dark clouds began to appear, raining blood and chanting, freedom for all, freedom forever.
To Be Continued Next Time: West Point
Carpenter, John A. Sword and Olive Branch: Oliver Otis Howard. Fordham University Press, New York. 1999
The author would like to wish a happy birthday to Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain.
Born on this, the eighth of September, 1828.