As the fall 2017 semester comes to an end, I thought that it might be in the spirit of the academic season to offer the readers of “The Whispering Pines” an exam that consists of Bowdoin trivia. Since none of the information was covered in assigned readings or in lectures, it is probably the most unfair exam ever offered at Bowdoin. The answers that follow the exam may be obscure, but as far as I know, they are factually accurate. I hope you enjoy this stress-free journey through the College’s history and a holiday season and New Year filled with joy.
With best wishes.
John R. Cross ’76
Secretary of Development and College Relations
- How many Bowdoin alumni have received the Congressional Medal of Honor?
- How many Bowdoin alumni have won gold medals in the Olympic Games?
- Which statement is not true about 85 Federal Street?
a. The iron gate in front of the house still has traces of the name “Jordan” on it, from its original owner, Captain Francis Jordan.
b. The house was the President’s House from 1890-1980.
c. The ballroom and garage were designed by architect Felix Burton of the Class of 1907.
d. The house was moved from the lot between President Rose’s house and Cleaveland House in the 1870s to make room for a garden.
e. The house served as a stop on the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War.
- Susan Jacobson, the first woman to receive an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin, was a member of the Class of ______.
- Time magazine once stated that Bowdoin had produced more famous graduates per square foot of campus area than any other college in the country. Which of the following is not true?
a. The U.S. Army surgeon who died with Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn/Greasy Grass was a Bowdoin alumnus.
b. Between 1895 and 1900, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the U. S. Senate were all Bowdoin alumni.
c. Two Bowdoin alumni served consecutive terms as Secretary of the Treasury in President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet.
d. A Bowdoin student invented the fountain pen in 1838 because he was frustrated by trying to use a dip pen to write in shorthand.
e. Henry Ward Beecher, clergyman, abolitionist, and younger brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, studied at Bowdoin for two years before transferring to Amherst, where he graduated in 1834.
- The Alumni Fund was established at Bowdoin in the year ______.
- Name four presidents of Bowdoin who served in the years before 1990.
*Bonus: Who was the first president of the College who was also a Bowdoin alumnus?
- John Brown Russwurm of the Class of 1826, editor of the anti-slavery newspaper Freedom’s Journal and later governor of the Maryland Colony of Liberia in Africa, was the first African-American to graduate from Bowdoin. The second and third African-Americans to receive undergraduate degrees from the College graduated in what year?
- “Anna ’77” is carved on a small granite marker outside of Massachusetts Hall. It…
a. marks the final resting place of “Anna Lytics,” the Class of 1877’s Analytical Geometry textbooks.
b. marks the final resting place of President Chamberlain’s dog, Anna, who died in 1877.
c. marks the final resting place for Anna Conner, a Brunswick woman who committed suicide in 1777. Since she had taken her own life, burial in Pine Grove Cemetery was not an option. The circumstances of her death precluded disturbing her remains, and over the years the College has grown up around her grave-site.
- “The Temple” refers to:
a. a first-floor room in South Maine Hall used for initiation ceremonies by Phi Chi, the 19th-century sophomore hazing society
b. a nickname for Dayton Arena in the 1970s
c. the office on the first floor of Massachusetts Hall shared by President Kenneth C. M. Sills ’01 and Dean Paul Nixon for more than twenty years
d. the College privy/outhouse in the days before indoor plumbing
e. the Walker Art Building
- What were the names given by Professor Marshall Perley Cram of the Class of 1904 to the two Chinese camel statues behind the Cram Alumni House?
a. Casey and Edith
b. Charlie and John
c. Jekyll and Hyde
d. Lawrence (of Arabia) and Shaharazade
e. Rigor and Mortis
- The oldest intercollegiate sport at Bowdoin is:
a. track & field
- The year that the Alumni Fund first exceeded $1,000,000 was ______ (plus or minus three years of the actual year counts as a correct answer).
- In the official portrait of President Robert H. Edwards (hanging in the second-floor hallway of Hubbard Hall) there is a fly on the back of his right hand. Why is it there?
a. Bob Edwards had written an undergraduate honors thesis at Princeton on the genetics of the common house fly.
b. South Africa, where President Edwards had spent some of his early years, is known as “the land filled with flies.”
c. Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center Susan Kaplan used to hide plastic insects in President Edwards’s office as a practical joke; he requested that the artist incorporate a fly into his portrait.
d. It’s not really a fly – it’s the larval form of a scarab beetle, the Egyptian symbol for immortality.
e. The artist routinely inserts an insect into each of the portraits she paints as a sort of trademark, in lieu of a signature.
- The Delta, used as the College athletic field for baseball, football, and hockey before the development of Whittier and Pickard Fields and Dayton Arena, was located:
a. where Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium, and Kanbar Hall now stand
b. where the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library now stands
c. at the Topsham fairgrounds, where Mathematics Professor William “Buck” Moody [Class of 1882] used to race his horse, Triangle.
d. at Pickard Field
e. in the area occupied by Coles Tower, Jewett, Stowe, Howard, Osher, and West halls
- Put in order, from earliest to most recent, the first issue of each of these College publications:
- The Bowdoin Orient (student newspaper)
- The Bowdoin Alumnus/Bowdoin magazine
- The Bugle (yearbook)
- The Whispering Pines newsletter
- The Quill (student literary magazine)
- Match the inscriptions below with the location where each may be found.
a. To Preserve for Posterity the Wealth of the Wise
b. Nature’s Laws are God’s Thoughts
c. Breve tempus aetatis satis longum est ad bene honesteque vivendum (“The brief time of life is long enough for living honestly and well”)
d. Ut aquila versus coelum (“Like an eagle against the sky”)
e. Pinos loquentes semper habemus (“We always have the whispering pines”)
f. Inveniam viam aut faciam (“I will find a way, or make one”)
____ above a doorway in Searles Science Building
____ the motto on the Bowdoin family coat of arms
____ on one side of the base for the World War I Memorial Flagpole
____ above the doorway leading out of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum
____ above the side entrance to Hubbard Hall
____ carved into the mantel-piece of the Peucinian Room in Sills Hall
- Which of the following is true:
a. Henry Vaughan, the architect for Hubbard Hall, designed the building to look like an owl to symbolize knowledge and learning.
b. Coles Tower (16 stories high) was targeted by the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War.
c. In a Vietnam War protest, students placed the World War I Memorial flagpole down the center aisle of the Chapel, forcing the cancellation of Chapel services for the day.
d. Ivy Day celebrates Bowdoin’s independence in turning down an invitation to join the Ivy League in the early 1920s.
e. The lion statues that flank the entrance to the Walker Art Building are copies of statues in the Loggia in Florence, Italy.
- The College was founded in 1794. The first students entered the College in what year?
- Who are represented by the two bronze statues that flank the front entrance to the Walker Art Building? ______________________ and _____________________
- The oldest building on campus is _______________________________________
- Please give the nearest campus landmark to each of the following:
a. the Harry Cloudman Fountain _______________________
b. the Elijah Kellogg pine tree _________________________
c. the Thorndike Oak _________________________________
d. the World War I Memorial __________________________
e. the Zorach sculpture “The Lineman” __________________
*Bonus: For what event was “The Lineman” originally carved? _________________________________
- What is this?
a. Apollo as the original Bowdoin sun, suggested as a symbol of the College and the enlightenment by James Bowdoin III. It graced all Bowdoin diplomas until just before the Civil War .
b. a suggested design for the Bowdoin Prize Medal
c. the logo for the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, designed to celebrate the dedication of the Walker Art Building in 1894
d. the official seal of the College in 1899
e. a commemorative coin struck for alumni of the College and the Medical School of Maine who served the Union during the Civil War
Extra Bonus question:
- Why are there no 9 o’clock classes in Searles Science Building these days?
- Six; five in the Civil War, and one in World War II:
- Henry Clay Wood, Class of 1854 (Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, April 10, 1861)
- Oliver Otis Howard, Class of 1850 (Seven Pines/Fair Oaks, May 31-June 1, 1862)
- Thomas Worcester Hyde, Class of 1861 (Antietam/Sharpsburg, September 17, 1862)
- Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Class of 1852 (Gettysburg, July 2, 1863)
- Charles Porter Mattocks, Class of 1862 (Deatonsville/Sailor’s Creek, April 6, 1865)
- Everett Parker Pope, Class of 1941 (Peleliu Island, Palau Islands, September 19-20, 1944)
- Three Bowdoin alumni have won Olympic gold medals;
- Frederic D. Tootell, Class of 1923 – hammer throw, Paris, France 1924
- Geoffrey T. Mason, Class of 1923 – five-man bobsleigh, St. Moritz, Switzerland, 1928
- Joan Benoit Samuelson, Class of 1979 – women’s marathon, Los Angeles, 1984
- e. The house served as a stop on the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War. [the only false statement]
[Additional notes: The first women to have earned degrees from Bowdoin (M.A., 1962) were Bernice Engler and Carolyn M. Mann, who participated in the National Science Foundation Summer Institute in Mathematics at Bowdoin. Author Sarah Orne Jewett H’01 was the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Bowdoin in 1901 (also the first woman to receive an honorary degree from a traditionally all-male college in the U.S.)]
- e. Henry Ward Beecher, clergyman, abolitionist, and younger brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, studied at Bowdoin for two years before transferring to Amherst, where he graduated in 1834. [the only false statement]
- The Alumni Fund was established in the year 1921. [An Alumni Fund was inaugurated in 1869 and formalized in a resolution adopted by the Bowdoin Alumni Association in 1872. The fund continued for several years. In 1919 the Alumni Association voted to endorse an Alumni Fund, and the Alumni Fund was established in June of 1921.]
- Joseph McKeen, Jesse Appleton, William Allen, Leonard Woods, Samuel Harris, Joshua L. Chamberlain, William DeWitt Hyde, Kenneth C. M. Sills, James S. Coles, Roger Howell, Jr., Willard Enteman, A. LeRoy Greason (any four).
*Bonus: Samuel Harris, Class of 1833, President from 1867-1871
- 1910 – Samuel Herman Dreer and Arthur A. Madison
- a. marks the final resting place of “Anna Lytics,” the Class of 1877’s analytical geometry textbooks.
- a. the College privy/outhouse in the days before indoor plumbing
- b. Charlie and John
- c. baseball 
- 1978 – $1,000,078 (51% participation)
- c. Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center Susan Kaplan used to hide plastic insects in President Edwards’s office as a practical joke; he requested that the artist incorporate a fly into his portrait.
- a. where Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium, and Kanbar Hall now stand
- The Bugle (yearbook) (1858); The Bowdoin Orient (student newspaper) (1871);The Quill (student literary magazine) (1898); The Bowdoin Alumnus/Bowdoin magazine (1927); The Whispering Pines newsletter (1962-2008)
B above a doorway in Searles Science Building
D the motto on the Bowdoin family coat of arms
C on one side of the base for the World War I Memorial Flagpole
F above the door leading out of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum
A above the side entrance to Hubbard Hall
E carved into the mantel-piece of the Peucinian Room in Sills Hall
- e. the lion statues that flank the entrance to the Walker Art Building are
copies of statues in the Loggia in Florence, Italy.
- Sophocles and Demosthenes
- Massachusetts Hall (1802)
- Please give the nearest campus landmark to each of the following:
- the Harry Cloudman Fountain: Studzinski Hall or Sargent Gym
- the Elijah Kellogg pine tree: Kanbar Hall or Druckenmiller Hall
- the Thorndike Oak: Searles Science Building
- the World War I Memorial: Gibson Hall, Hubbard Hall, or the Walker Art Building
- the Zorach sculpture “The Lineman”: Pickard Field House
*Bonus: the 1932 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles
- What is this?: the official seal of the College in 1899 [in use for two years]
Extra Bonus Question
Because the Searles clock face currently has two Roman numeral tens (X’s), but no nine (IX), due to an error when the clock face was repainted after 2005.