The Office of Admissions hosted its annual Bowdoin Bearings program this Thursday and Friday to welcome the 850 students admitted to the Class of 2027 to campus. After a two-year hiatus from hosting admitted students overnight on campus due to Covid-19 protocols, the admissions team expressed excitement about being able to offer admitted students a more complete experience this year.
“Last year, we were still coming out of the pandemic, and there were a lot of guidelines in place that limited what we were able to do because of concerns about public health,” Assistant Vice President and Director of Admissions Emily Almas said. “So we hosted admitted students at local hotels last year, but this year we are excited to host admitted students with Bowdoin students overnight.”
The schedule for Bowdoin Bearings featured several new additions and returning favorites, including trips to the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, yoga classes and a tour of downtown Brunswick with current students. Another anticipated aspect to the weekend was drop-in sessions with academic departments that allowed admitted students to chat with faculty about academic offerings and ask questions.
“We are excited about our various additional opportunities this year for students to get to know other students, faculty and staff,” Almas said. “This is truly a campus-wide effort; every single person—no matter their role or position in the community—has a hand [in] welcoming our admitted students.”
Mingi Kang ’26 attended Bowdoin Bearings last spring and believes this year’s schedule is richer and more informative.
“I think it’s a good change because last year there were limited spots. There were only two or three classes that we could pick from. There was also limited time, because you had to sacrifice another program event to attend a class and meet professors,” Kang said.
Kang also praised the tours of downtown Brunswick and the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, as he wasn’t able to experience much of Bowdoin beyond its campus.
“When I was here, I kind of got a brief introduction to Brunswick, but I wouldn’t say that it was that descriptive or informative,” Kang said. “I haven’t been to the Coastal Studies Center either, so I think it is great that they are offering tours to admitted students of these places.”
Cassidy Bateman ’24 had only visited Bowdoin virtually before enrolling due to the pandemic and says this year will differ dramatically from her own Bowdoin Bearings experience.
“[Admitted students weekend] was very different, considering I applied in the middle of the pandemic. All of our admitted student programming was distributed over a much larger amount of time rather than a single weekend, because it was all done virtually,” Bateman said. “That consisted of a lot of Zoom calls with Professors Q&A style [and] meeting with deans and current students.”
Bateman decided to host an admitted student overnight this year because she wanted to share her Bowdoin experience with the incoming class.
“A lot of Bowdoin students want to see change in the community, and one of the ways that you will be able to do that is by passing along knowledge and information to the next group of people that are coming into the college,” Bateman said. “It can be a good way to change what the values of the Bowdoin student population currently is, but to connect with students who may want to be able to continue that change at Bowdoin.”
Stuart Howard ’25, who also did not get to visit Bowdoin before his first year, decided to host an admitted student on Thursday night in hopes of providing a better experience than that which was available to him.
“It makes me feel good that I am helping the students who are still deciding the school they are trying to go to,” Howard said. “I can kind of show them the ropes around here and give them a real, in-person experience before they decide where they want to go.”
Admitted student Andrew Sposato arrived on campus on Thursday and was immediately impressed by the community at Bowdoin.
“So far it’s great.… It’s a huge draw to the school, being able to see the students out and enjoying the nice weather,” Sposato said. “Everyone has been so nice and accommodating, and everyone in admissions has been great, planning the events and keeping everything organized.”
Sposato said that he found Bowdoin Bearings to be instrumental in showcasing student and academic life.
“This is definitely a strong indicator of what it is like to be a Bowdoin student, and it’s a great way to look into the lives of students,” Sposato said. “Just being able to see all the different aspects of Bowdoin, such as academics and residential life … I will probably leave with a strong impression of the community and how I can find my place here at Bowdoin.”