College honors scholars
Bowdoin's Sarah and James Bowdoin Day exercises were held Friday, October 4, in Morrell Gymnasium, to recognize the College's highest-ranking scholars. A total of 304 students were named Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholars, with 48 of the Scholars earning Book Awards.
In his welcoming remarks, President Barry Mills recounted the history of the Bowdoin family: "Today we remember our founders and meet to celebrate the achievements of our scholars . [Our students] are what Bowdoin is all about, a community of informed individuals [who develop] judgment and sensitivity and understand other points of view."
On Sarah and James Bowdoin Day, held during Parents Weekend, speeches are delivered by an outstanding student and a highly recognized practitioner in one of the liberal arts disciplines. This year's speakers were Carolyn Dion '05 and Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Dion, a Latin scholar who plans to major in classics and minor in economics, gave a speech titled "Taking it With You." She spoke about her summer internship at a Boston brokerage firm, where she found herself filing papers all day ("rediscovering the alphabet") alongside former Ivy Leaguers and business school graduates still scraping to get ahead despite eight years of college.
While her first real encounter with the business world left her leery, she stressed that her liberal arts education and study of Latin would well prepare her to maintain an even keel through life: "As Cicero would say, 'If wisdom is attainable, let us not only win, but enjoy it.'"
Hrabowski delivered the talk "Education for the 21st Century: Creating a Climate of Success for All Students," and encouraged students to ask "who am I, why am I here, what's the significance of this experience and education, and where will it lead us?"
"Take the time to think about the significance of a college education," he said. "In education the idea has to be 'I'm here to see the light.' You're here to learn, to think, to read about ideas of all types, to learn about you and the people around you .Get to know people from all over the world, appreciate the differences in human beings."
Hrabowski recounted how, in his youth, he went to jail with
Dr. Martin Luther King. "I learned the power of the individual to
change the world [and] the significance of education is that it's never
over," he said.
The Almon Goodwin Prize, presented to members of Phi Beta Kappa chosen by vote of the Board of Trustees of the College, was bestowed upon Matthew Harry Magenheim '03, Travis Adam Patten '03, and Monica Lynn Skoge '03, all of whom also served as student marshals.
Other Phi Beta Kappa members from the Class of '03 are Elizabeth Anne Barney, Erica Michelle Bellamy, Leah Dania Christensen, Angela Rose Commito, Andrew Thomas Dunn, Liesl Finn, Maggie Ann Fritz-Morkin, and Abbie Ann Klein.
The recognition of James Bowdoin Scholars was begun in 1941 to honor those undergraduates who distinguish themselves by excellence in scholarship and to commemorate the Honorable James Bowdoin III (1752-1811), first patron of the College. James Bowdoin III, who asked that the College be named after his father, was an agriculturist, an art and book collector, and a diplomat who served as Thomas Jefferson's minister plenipotentiary to Spain from 1804 to 1808.
In 1997, by faculty vote, the commemorative day and distinction as scholar were changed to recognize both Sarah and James Bowdoin, who were married from 1780 until his 1811 death. Like her husband, Sarah Bowdoin gave many gifts to the College, including most of the Bowdoin family portraits, which were bequeathed to the College upon her death.