News Archive 2009-2018

Just in Time for Commencement: MacMillan’s Gift to the College Archives

Bowdoin Bear in the Buck Center

The Bowdoin Bear in The Peter S. Buck Center for Health and Fitness.


The days leading up to Commencement can be a bear. All those last-minute details, program changes – and the chairs. So many chairs.

Especially anticipatory were the days prior to Commencement 1918, when the College was awaiting the arrival of the Bowdoin Bear, procured by Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan, of the Class of 1889.

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center’s new blog, A Glimmer on the Polar Sea: Researching the Crocker Land Expeditions 1913-1917, shares some of the story.

Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster has more on the history of how the Polar Bear came to be the College mascot in the Bowdoin Baccaulaureate tradition, “Voices from Bowdoin’s Past,” an address to be presented Friday during the ceremony in Watson Arena. Look for his talk here on the Bowdoin Daily Sun.