There is a pervasive myth that 50 percent of Bowdoin students marry other Bowdoin students, but how accurate is that? 

It turns out, not very. As of late 2011, only 8.61 percent of the living student body was married to one another, according to Matthew O’Donnell, editor of the Bowdoin Magazine. He said this is fairly characteristic of comparably sized colleges; Colby stated their marriage rate is at around 11 percent in fall 2010. Bowdoin’s numbers only account for the years since 1975, when the College became co-educational. 

Natalie Johnson ’13 and Will Richard ’11 are one such couple. The two met when Johnson was a freshman at a swing-dancing event at Howell House, where Richard was a resident. 

“He asked me for a dance, and we talked together for the rest of the evening,” Johnson said. 
The two got married this summer in the Bowdoin Chapel. 

 “It felt fitting to have it there, since we both come from very different places, Colorado and Massachusetts, so it’s a place that we share a connection,” said Johnson. 

When asked about her experiences dating at Bowdoin, she said she found it overall to be positive. 
“Bowdoin is work-oriented, but that shouldn’t be mutually exclusive to other important aspects of your life: love, friendship, family; I see those things as enhancing your learning and growing as a well-rounded human. Finding love in the midst of a college career only taught me more, and made me a better student with broader perspective,” Johnson said.

Alex Beale Powers ’87 and Howie Powers ’84—parents of Peter ’16 and Will ’15—met through a mutual family friend who had told them to look out for one another. 

“I went to the DKE house and introduced myself to Howie. He gave me a house tour and we talked into the wee hours of the morning,” Beale Powers said. 

The Powers’ next encounter was anything but simple. 

 “The next day, I returned to the DKE house, as they were hosting a day at Popham Beach to rush us freshmen. I said hello to Howie and he stuck out his hand and said, ‘Hi, Howie Powers. Would you like a house tour?’” 

“Somehow, we started talking at the beach and I mentioned to him that we’d had a L-O-N-G conversation the night prior; he apologized...Eventually, we started dating and were married on the hottest day of the summer of ’88, a year after my graduation,” said Beale Powers. 

Other Polar Bear couples have met after graduating from Bowdoin. Lisa Bossi ’87 and Adrian Bossi ’85 met five and half years after she graduated, and seven and half years after he graduated. 

“It sounds like such a crazy coincidence that we would have met in San Francisco when we both went to Bowdoin, but we basically had a little satellite campus out there,” said Lisa. “It was inevitable that we would still be meeting Bowdoin people, even many years after graduation.” 

She added, “Adrian was on his way from biking through the Andes with two other Bowdoin friends and he was thinking of moving to Seattle and he came to my party. I was roommates with another girl from Bowdoin. We were all very interconnected. We had other friends but it always seemed like there was always some Bowdoin people.” 

Now, the Bossis live in Brunswick with their children. 

“We realized that this town that we didn’t pay as much attention to in college was a great place to raise a family,” Lisa said. 

“It’s actually been great living near the school. It’s been a great resource for us as parents, taking the kids over there all the time,” Adrian said. 

“I was just talking with someone today and I said, yes those Bowdoin kids helped raise my girls. They were our babysitters, mentors, friends,” said Lisa. “It’s still that way.”