Students Capture Living Memories Of Bowdoin’s First Women

After a semester of intensive research, students in Jennifer Scanlon‘s class Forty Years: The History of Women at Bowdoin have collected troves of documents, photos and ephemera about the early years of co-education at Bowdoin. A new website includes hours of audio and videotaped interviews. It will be unveiled at a launch party at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union.

“I had actually decided when I was about 10 years old that I was coming to Bowdoin and the fact that it wasn’t co-ed didn’t matter,” says Elissa Berry ’75 in an video interview with two students. “When they announced they were going co-ed, within a week I had an interview and an application submitted. It was just part of my plan.”

Berry’s plucky attitude is echoed among many of the women who preceded and followed her, in spite ““ or maybe because of ““ the social and academic hurdles many of them faced as they helped to transform the all-male domain.

“I think it is empowering that these women decided to go to a school like Bowdoin, all men. It’s definitely a chance I would have been willing to take,” says Jillyan Henrikson ’12. “It was cool to compare their experience with my own.” Read more.

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