The Bowdoin campus seems a sleepy idyll during summer. The chapel bells still ring the hour but no students heed their call to class.
Step inside any building and the picture changes: a vital population of students abounds. There are more than 300 students on campus this summer. Some are working with professors in science and computer labs, others are doing field work in and around the community. A small army of student employees keeps offices running and dining halls afloat.
Their numbers were in conspicuous evidence at the annual President’s Summer Student Cookout on July 18, 2011, as Barry Mills took time to chat with students engaged in research and work at Bowdoin during the summer.
“Historically, there were many students working in the sciences, but we’re seeing more disciplines now — students working in sociology, government, economics, across the curriculum,” says Mills, stopping to greet new arrivals at the barbeque line.
“Look at all of these students here,” Mills says, smiling broadly. “Over 60 percent of them are doing paid research and fellowships, the rest are working around Bowdoin and in internships in Maine. It’s all about the life of the College and its greater place in the community. It’s a great opportunity for students.”