The Bowdoin College faculty is honoring outgoing President Barry Mills and Karen Mills, and their priorities for the College, with a gift that will help students gain access to a Bowdoin education and the opportunity that education provides.
At their monthly meeting late Monday, the faculty announced that they have raised $100,000 to endow “The Bowdoin Faculty Scholarship in Honor of Barry and Karen Mills,” a fund that will provide need-based financial aid to a student each year, beginning in 2015.
No fewer than 175 current and former faculty members made personal contributions to the gift.
“We believe that among the issues that you feel most passionately about are financial aid, student support, and accessibility to the College,” said Professor of Physics Thomas Baumgarte as he presented a certificate of the scholarship to President Mills.
“We, the faculty, share this passion, and we are extremely grateful for your unfaltering commitment to the support of our students. That’s why we decided to celebrate, honor, and support that legacy.”
Barry Mills ’72, who was inaugurated as Bowdoin’s fourteenth president in 2001, announced last April that the current academic year would be his last as president of the College.
Since then, he has been working to raise in excess of $100 million to bolster Bowdoin’s need-based financial aid program, an effort he described as his number one priority.
Thus far, the College has raised nearly $50 million toward that goal. Mills was surprised and moved by the Monday’s announcement. “I can’t think of anything … that means more to me than you having supported this,” he said to a room filled with applauding faculty members.
“This gift goes to the heart of what I care about. It goes to who I am and why I came to Bowdoin College many, many years ago, and why I’ve been here for the last 14 years.”
Bowdoin currently provides $32.5 million in need-based financial aid to 46 percent of its students, with an average annual grant of $40,025. Bowdoin does not offer merit aid.
About 45 percent of Bowdoin’s endowment is restricted to the support of student aid.