News Archive 2009-2018

In the Spotlight: History of Women at Bowdoin Website (WIA Report) Archives

(Back row, l. to r.) Samuel Shapiro ’14, Samantha Copland ’14, Jillyan Henrikson ’12, Allison Kuriloff ’12, Genevieve Barlow ’13, Emma Nathaniel ’12, Professor Jennifer Scanlon. (Front row, l. to r.) Angelica Guerrero ’11, Skyler Walley ’12, Coral Sandler ’12, Stephanie Bond ’13, Anna Wright ’12.

Women in Academia’s WIA Report highlights Bowdoin’s new website documenting 40 years of women at the College. The website is the culmination of a semester’s research by students taking the course Forty Years: The History of Women at Bowdoin, taught by Jennifer Scanlon, Bowdoin’s William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities.

3 thoughts on “In the Spotlight: History of Women at Bowdoin Website (WIA Report)

  1. Al DeMoya, '72

    Part of the appeal of Bowdoin for me was the fact that it was all-male. The admission of women tarnished that appeal. I still love my alma mater but it is not the college I went to.

    I have to accept that Bowdoin made the decision to become co-educational, however much I hate that fact. What I cannot accept is the continuing need to justify that decision, as if there were still those who have doubts about the wisdom of doing so.

    Please, stop talking about it. It’s over and done with.

  2. Scott Ogden '10

    I am both highly offended and disturbed by the appalling comment of my fellow Bowdoin alumnus, Mr. DeMoya, and strongly believe that it is wrong, rudimentary and misogynistic in nature, and representative of the very chauvinism that Bowdoin sought to shed with the implementation of its decision to admit women.

    While Mr. DeMoya is entitled to his opinion — as much as I vehemently disdain it — that right does not make those beliefs correct, and unfortunately, he seems to believe that the publication and dissemination of the WIA report and the website is evidence of Bowdoin’s “continuing need to justify” the admittance of women. He could not be more wrong. It is not a justification, but a celebration — a celebration of the education of thousands of women who have gone forward to make immeasurable contributions to our society and to our world. And it is one that both present and future generations of students should, and indeed must, have the opportunity to learn.

    So, if Bowdoin’s embrace of progress “tarnished” the appeal of the school for Mr. DeMoya, then I point to the thousands of women and their myriad accomplishments for whom it did not, and will continue to believe that they are more than worthy of the tribute paid by WIA and the students of GWS 280.

  3. Shirley Reuter Smith

    I think it would be interesting if the study were expanded to include the reaction of Bowdoin faculty and staff to the admission of women. When I joined the staff of the Bowdoin Library in 1969 as Acquisitions Librarian, there were only 8 women exchange students. Young men who worked at the circulation desk were required to wear neckties. As more women came to Bowdoin, issues arose such as too few bathrooms in the library. The entrance of women also resulted in changes in the curriculum so materials had to be purchased to cover new fields of study. There were so few women students at first that we in the library knew each of them personally. The library changed from a very quiet study place to a social center of the campus. We in the library welcomed the young women.

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