Students are not the only members of the Bowdoin community who get together for a beer on the weekends. Every Friday afternoon, faculty members are invited to gather in the Shannon Room of Hubbard Hall to have refreshments and socialize.
Last semester, in response to faculty requests, President Barry Mills took the initiative to create an outlet for faculty members to socialize. Unlike many colleges, Bowdoin does not have faculty clubs or dining halls. Although long ago the College held a happy hour at a local bar, this tradition was discontinued and until last semester, many faculty members felt the opportunities for interaction with one another were insufficient.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Sam Putnam thinks that one of the best things about Bowdoin is the advantages that come with its small size. At a college Bowdoin's size, he said it is possible, though difficult, for faculty members to get to know people outside of their departments. According to Putnam, the potential for a tighter community among faculty was unrealized, but that these get-togethers are providing an excellent way to take advantage of Bowdoin's size and resources.
"I've got all these amazing colleagues that I don't know very well," Putnam said. "I've been here for five years, and it's embarrassing how many of [them] that I don't even know."
Associate Professor of Psychology Rick Thompson agreed that it is difficult for faculty members to get to know people outside of their departments, but that the Friday gatherings provide a great chance "for faculty to mingle." He thinks that the weekly event will help facilitate faculty getting to know one another.
"It's great to have an opportunity to socialize with colleagues," Associate Dean and Associate Affirmative Action Officer Nancy Jennings said. According to Jennings, the Friday get-togethers are a wonderful opportunity for faculty to come together in a less formal setting and socialize at the end of the week.
Because the gatherings take place on Fridays afternoons, faculty members are less likely to have family commitments to fulfill, do not have the stress of preparing lecture notes, and are ready to start the weekend.