Barry Mills has been on campus for at least four previous homecoming
weekends, but this will be his first as our President. As alumni descend
on Brunswick over the next few days for what must be a sweetly sad time
of remembrance and nostalgia, we should all pause briefly and remember
a part of the alumni experience that none of us currently enrolled here
have an active memory of: fraternities.
President Mills does not have to negotiate the treacherous terrain regarding
the dissolution of fraternities that his predecessor did, but he's certainly
not a stranger to the Greek scene. Mills was president of Alpha Delta
Phi his senior year, in 1971-1972. The Orient and AD have hardly been
strangers. Two years ago, many of the Orient senior staff lived in AD,
and all of us on the paper felt at home there, as Howell House residents
do now. It's hard to forget a house that made a habit of serving alligator
and ostrich at weekly Thursday dinners.
Many of the alumni on campus this weekend will be returning to old fraternity
houses that have changed in look and feel since they left them. Old frat
buildings have been converted into social houses for several years, but
this year marks the first time alumni will see one as a normal college
residence- Burnett. Ladd House is celebrating its first homecoming as
well, Chi Delt and Zeta Psi alums will be curious to see what's been done
with the place.
It bears repeating at a time like homecoming that while fraternities are no longer present at Bowdoin, they are an irreplaceable part of our past. All of us remember this weekend that the paths we walk have been tread before.