Helen Spaulding led a fascinating life. A descendant of James Bowdoin II, the second governor of Massachusetts and the man for whom the College is named, she was also stepdaughter of Edward Foley, a Treasury undersecretary in the Truman administration who chaired JFK’s inaugural committee—and part of the Kennedys’ bridal party in 1953.
A lifelong political activist, Spaulding campaigned for her late husband, a former Republican Party chairman who ran for state attorney general, then, after his death, switched to supporting Democrats by working on the presidential campaigns of Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton.
Spaulding loved Boston and was deeply involved in supporting the city on numerous boards. She died November 5, 2016, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Falmouth, Maine. Read the obituary in the Boston Globe and learn more about Bowdoin’s history here.