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Bearings in Brunswick welcomes over 300 admitted students to campus

April 19, 2024

Yesterday and today, the College welcomed a record number of admitted students to campus for Bearings in Brunswick, the flagship on-campus component of the Office of Admissions’s annual Bowdoin Bearings programming. Around 340 admitted students registered to attend Bearings in Brunswick, and after accounting for walk-ins, family members and other guests, the number of total guests on campus is expected to exceed 700.

“This is by far the largest admitted students days programming that we’ve had,” Senior Vice President and Dean of Admissions Claudia Marroquin wrote in an email to the Orient.

A new component of the program encourages admitted students to have a more in-depth academic experience at Bowdoin by attending “mock/sample classes” offered by some departments. According to Marroquin, these classes include: Introductory Russian, Sickle Cell and Other Hemoglobin Variants: From Evolutionary Origins to Biotechnology, Slavic Demonology: Vampires of Eastern Europe, Marhaba: Welcome to Arabic! and Introduction to Japanese. Students, like in previous years, will also have the chance to attend select actual classes happening on campus.

As in past years, admitted students also have the opportunity to attend events curated specifically for Bearings in Brunswick, from campus tours and an academic fair to an admitted student pizza party and dessert and games in the College Houses. Additionally, the prospective Polar Bears are encouraged to immerse themselves in campus life by attending events open to all students like the men’s tennis team’s match against Colby College and the student comedy troupe Improvabilities’ show in Jack Magee’s Pub yesterday.

Annual planning for Bearings in Brunswick begins months in advance. Admissions worked to design and provide meaningful programming for the 924 students admitted to the Class of 2028, some of whom have already enrolled at the College and others who are still deciding.

“The planning process is thorough and iterative…. We review our schedule from previous years, review feedback, engage with campus partners and try to provide authentic opportunities for admitted students to engage with academic, extracurricular and social communities on campus while also getting to know each other,” Marroquin, Associate Dean of Admissions Sarah Chingos and Admissions Counselor Mia Morgan wrote in an email to the Orient.

Admissions also collaborates with the Student Admissions Volunteer Organization (SAVO) to prepare for Bearings in Brunswick. Among other Admissions-related tasks, SAVO has worked to recruit student volunteers to help with several activities, including setting up for programming, eating lunches with admitted students and leading field trips to the Schiller Coastal Studies Center.

“Once I receive a general schedule from the programming organizers in Admissions, I start sending emails and sign-up sheets to recruit students,” SAVO coordinator Rory Kliewer ’24 wrote in an email to the Orient. “This way, we can get more students connected with our admitted students and start building the community that is so valued at Bowdoin.”

As part of their immersion into the Bowdoin community, many admitted students stayed on campus overnight with a current student host. Despite the record-high attendance numbers, Marroquin, Chingos and Morgan noted that they were able to find enough hosts, even with almost 100 admitted students staying in dorms overnight.

Eleanor Adams ’27 said that hosting an admitted student would be an opportunity to help ensure they could fully experience life at Bowdoin.

“I thought it would be kind of fun to show someone why Bowdoin is so great and … make sure they have a good experience on admitted students day,” Adams said.

While Adams did not stay on campus overnight when she visited the College, she said participating in Bearings in Brunswick last year helped her gain a better sense of Bowdoin’s culture.

“I kind of already knew that I wanted to come to Bowdoin, but when we were walking in, there’s this guy that biked past us, and he was like, ‘Welcome to Bowdoin!’” she said. “I was like ‘Oh, the people here are really, really sweet.’”

This sentiment was echoed by students participating in Bearings in Brunswick this year, including an admitted student from Wayland, Mass., Zach Green.

“It’s really easy to talk to everybody,” Green said. “You just stop on the quad and someone’s like, ‘Oh, hi!’ And that’s fantastic.”


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