“Send Offs” are a longtime Bowdoin tradition, going back at least twenty years in their current form. Some alumni have been hosting the parties for more than a decade. Send Offs happen around the country; this summer they took place in Chicago, Florida, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Maine, Minneapolis, New Jersey, and Boston. In all, 558 people attended the nine events.
Send offs are a chance for incoming first-year students, and their families, to gather with other new Bowdoin students and families. In addition, other current Bowdoin parents, students, and alumni often attend. The receptions take the form of lobster bakes (in Maine, of course), baseball games, picnics, catered events, or gatherings at pubs.
Ella Brown ’84 has been hosting the Maine Send Off at her home in Falmouth for seventeen years. In Holly Varian Zuklie’s ’90 welcome remarks at the San Francisco event, she recalled the Send Off she attended in 1986.
Harold Brakewood ’87, Kelly McKinney-Brakewood ’87, and Eleanor Brakewood ’19 hosted a send off in Lebanon, New Jersey, this August. In their invitation, they invited attendees to “share Bowdoin lore, the best places to study, professors and classes to take, and the tastiest eats at Thorne! Refreshments and beverages will be served at this casual gathering of Polar Bears. All are welcome!”
See more photos of specific events below the slideshow.