The Bowdoin College Board of Trustees appointed a new vice chair, elected four new members, and reelected four others during meetings held on campus May 10-11, 2018, during which the board also recognized the valued contributions to the College by members of the faculty, staff, and board of trustees, and approved a number of renovation and construction projects.
The board elected Paula M. Wardynski ’79, a trustee since 2005, vice chair for a three-year term and elected four new members: Jennifer Goldsmith Adams ’90, P’21; Tejus Ajmera ’04; Diana L. “Dee” Spagnuolo ’96; and Mitchell S. Zuklie ’91, P’21, each for a five-year term.
Jennifer Goldsmith Adams, a member of the Class of 1990, is an assistant professor and codirector of the Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program at New York University, where she also works with the Violet Society, a program providing mentoring experiences that promote student wellbeing and professional development. A lifelong fascination with China began at Bowdoin, when she spent her junior year studying in Beijing. Adams went on to graduate cum laude with a degree in Asian studies and serves a large Chinese population in her role as primary care physician at Gouverneur Health, a city-owned healthcare facility affiliated with the NYU School of Medicine. In 2003, Adams and her husband, Ben, established the Goldsmith Adams Fund, an endowment supporting student travel and research in Asia. Adams was recently the subject of a short film made for Chinese television directed by Ann Johnson Prum ’84, wife of Richard Prum H’14. The film, which also features Adams’s daughter, Julia Adams ’21, was produced by Puiking Hui, wife of trustee Andy Serwer ’81. Adams’s prior service to the College includes roles as a member of the Alumni Council and Reunion Committee.
Tejus Ajmera, a member of the Class of 2004, is an entrepreneur. The summer following his graduation from Bowdoin, Tejus and his brother, Ojus, cofounded FGF Brands, the largest producer of naan in North America and one of the largest producers of flatbreads, loaves, pizza crusts, and fully baked muffins in North America. The company, based in Ontario, Canada, supplies major retail and food service customers, including Starbucks, Sysco, Walmart, and Whole Foods. The company also sells bakery goods under its Stonefire brand and holds a number of patents for equipment and baking processes. An economics major, Ajmera was active in Bowdoin Student Government. Tejus has been very helpful to Bowdoin students seeking careers in business.
Diana L. “Dee” Spagnuolo, a member of the Class of 1996, is a white collar partner in Ballard Spahr LLP’s Philadelphia office, where she is on the management committee’s executive team, as well as the partner in charge of attorney career advancement. She recently represented the US Women’s National Hockey Team during their boycott of the world championships as they protested inequitable wages and lack of programming for women and girls, and ultimately negotiated a favorable deal with USA Hockey. An ice hockey player, All-American field hockey player, and three-sport captain at Bowdoin, Spagnuolo was a government and legal studies and Spanish double-major, and recipient of the Andrew Allison Haldane Cup. After Bowdoin, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic before heading to the University of Pennsylvania for law school. Prior service to Bowdoin includes membership on the Alumni Council and Reunion Committee. Spagnuolo’s wife, Sasha Ballen, is also a member of the Class of 1996.
Mitchell S. Zuklie, a member of the Class of 1991, is global chairman and CEO of the international law firm of Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, which serves technology, energy and infrastructure, and finance clients worldwide. Zuklie graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in government and legal studies before earning his law degree at the University of California–Berkeley. He previously served the College as a Bowdoin Alumni Schools Interviewing Committee (BASIC) and Reunion Committee member. Zuklie has several Bowdoin connections, including his wife, Holly Varian Zuklie ’90, their daughter, Hannah Zuklie ’21, sisters-in-law Sidney Varian Scott ’88 and Claire Ramos ’00, and brother-in-law John Scott ’88.
The board reelected Peter J. Bernard ’79, P’11, P’17; Jane L. Pinchin P’01; Andrew E. Serwer ’81, P’16, P’20; and David P. Wheeler ’74, P’07, P’15, each for a term of five years.
In recognition of devoted service to Bowdoin, retiring members of the faculty, staff, and board of trustees were elected to emeritus status.
Gil Birney, head coach of Bowdoin Rowing for twenty-two years, was elected head coach, men’s and women’s rowing emeritus. Birney led Bowdoin Rowing from a fledgling club to an envied program that regularly places boats in the Head of the Charles and Dad Vail Regattas, winning medals alongside the most competitive college rowing teams in the country. His crews have seven times earned invitations and competed at the Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Women’s Regatta on the Thames in London. Just in the last eight years, Bowdoin crews have won six gold medals, five silver, and a bronze at the Dad Vail, the largest intercollegiate regatta in the country and the de facto rowing sprint national championship. In 2008, Birney received one of intercollegiate rowing’s highest honors when he was recognized with the Matthew Ledwith Award as coach of the year at the Dad Vail Regatta.
Beverly DeCoster, who joined Bowdoin’s chemistry department in 1986, was elected laboratory instructor, chemistry department emerita. During her thirty-one years at the College, DeCoster was an essential instructor for many of the chemistry department labs. She also spent time during the summer conducting research with Professor of Chemistry Emeritus Ron Christensen and his students, investigating the electronic properties of carotenoid pigments, which play important roles in photosynthesis and other photobiological processes. DeCoster coauthored several publications with Christensen, including articles that appeared in Photochemistry and Photobiology and the Journal of Physical Chemistry, and she was the primary author of an article on the low-lying electronic states of carotenoids published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.
Donald A. Goldsmith, a member of the Class of 1965 and a trustee since 2012, was elected trustee emeritus. Goldsmith is a partner at Holland & Knight LLP, an international law firm based in New York City. Goldsmith has served on the board’s Audit, Risk, and Reputation and Resources committees. He has also advised the College’s Office of Gift Planning and served as a Reunion Gift Committee chair. His son, Jeremy T. Goldsmith, is a member of the Class of 2004.
Celeste Goodridge, who died in March, was posthumously elected professor of English emerita. Goodridge’s research interests covered twentieth-century and contemporary American poets, Cold War literature and culture, the literature of the South, and literary and cultural theory. She had a gift for engaging her students and professional colleagues in the public and private worlds of modernist poets. Her 1989 book, Hints and Disguises: Marianne Moore and Her Contemporaries, explores the linguistic precision, complexity, and richness of Moore’s poetry.
Mary Hunter, who brought the depth and breadth of her musical interests to the Department of Music for more than twenty years, was elected A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Music Emerita. Hunter taught about music theory, Classical period music, gender and music, Arabic music, the history of performance, and music in culture. With a keen interest in eighteenth-century opera, Hunter is the author of The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna (Princeton, 1999), which won the American Musicological Society’s Kinkeldey Prize, and Mozart’s Operas: A Companion (Yale, 2008), and countless other scholarly articles and papers. A violinist who performs with the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, Hunter was instrumental in the formation of Bowdoin’s Chamber Ensembles program and coached at least one of the ensembles every semester since it began in 2005.
Steve Hyde, who joined the College in 1988 as Bowdoin’s first director of corporate and foundation relations, was elected director of planned giving emeritus. Hyde held a number of increasingly important positions in the development office, most recently, associate vice president and senior leadership gifts officer. He is a graduate of the University of Maine, where he also earned his law degree. Hyde is an avid outdoorsman who has deep family ties to Maine and to Bowdoin. The person most responsible for building Bowdoin’s planned giving program, Hyde has successfully raised millions of dollars for financial aid, facilities, and the academic program at the College.
John Lichter, an ecosystem ecologist whose wide-ranging fields of inquiry and inclusive research have made him a leading force in many of Bowdoin’s environmental studies initiatives, was elected professor of biology and environmental studies emeritus. Joining the faculty in 2000, has been a mentor to students in biological/ecological research and frequently included them in his own work addressing community and ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and global change. His recent projects concern the historical and projected changes in carbon export to the Gulf of Maine from land use and climate change, and the ecological and economic recovery and sustainability of the Kennebec and Androscoggin Rivers and their common estuary and near-shore environment.
Tad Macy, whose long career at Bowdoin began as a programmer in 1987 during a huge boom in technology, was elected senior software engineer and designer emeritus. Macy had worked as an artist until an interest in computer games and how they were made led him to programming in the mid-eighties. He was part of the team that shepherded the development of Bowdoin’s first internet connections, first web servers, and campus-wide email system. After many years in leadership roles, including time as interim director of the department, he returned to developing software for academic web-based projects and business processes and retired as a senior software engineer and designer.
Linda Marquis, who arrived at Bowdoin in 1974, was elected senior academic department coordinator, music department emerita. Marquis was originally hired in what is now known as the facilities management office. She left four years later to start a family, returning to the College in 1984 to become an academic department coordinator in the music department. Promoted in 2007 to senior academic coordinator, Marquis has been described as a consummate office professional, seeing the department through a period of great growth and diversification. In the 1990s, Marquis served as a member of the College’s Support Staff Advocacy Committee and would also lend support to the Bowdoin International Music Festival held on campus in the summer.
Kathleen O’Connor, who devoted most of her more than thirty years at Bowdoin to helping countless students develop and refine their writing skills, was elected director of the writing project and lecturer in education emerita. Arriving in 1987 to teach in the German Department, she transitioned to the role of director of the newly formed Writing Project in 1994. O’Connor developed a seminar on the theory and practice of teaching writing and began training peer writing assistants nearly a quarter-century ago. She has supported writing and the teaching of writing in myriad ways, including in collaboration with Bowdoin faculty and staff through workshops, orientations, and class visits. In 2015, O’Connor initiated and held Bowdoin’s first “Write-In,” inviting students to gather and write with others, a program that continues to this day.
Linda Horvitz Roth, a member of the Class of 1976, who was elected overseer in 1992 and trustee in 1996, was elected trustee emerita. Roth, senior curator and Charles C. and Eleanor Lamont Cunningham Curator of European Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, is also a former trustee and chairwoman of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s Advisory Council. She has served as a member of the board’s Academic Affairs and Student Experience committees. Roth was also instrumental in the development of the Museum of Art’s involvement in student life, including its collaboration with the Student Museum Collaborative, co-founded by Roth’s son, Stephen Roth, a member of the Class of 2013.
Mary Tydings Smith, a member of the Class of 1978 and a trustee since 2013, was elected trustee emerita. Tydings Smith is managing director of the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, in Washington, DC. While trustee, she has served on the Academic Affairs and Governance committees, as well as on the Subcommittee on Honors. Tydings Smith’s son, Benjamin Smith, is a member of the Class of 2009.
Nat Wheelwright, who has inspired generations of Bowdoin students to cherish and seek to understand the natural world around them, was elected Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences Emeritus. Arriving at the College in 1986, Wheelwright became known as an inspiring and dynamic teacher. He was also director of the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island from 1987 to 2004. Wheelwright’s passion for teaching was recognized nationally in 2015, when he received the Ecological Society of America’s Eugene S. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology. Wheelwright recently coauthored The Naturalist’s Notebook (Storey Publishing, 2017), which aims to help more people become connected to nature by encouraging them to keep a five-year journal, recording the changes they see around them.
All appointments are effective July 1, 2018.
Trustees also approved funding for the renovations to Boody-Johnson House and Whittier Field (phase two), design and preconstruction services for the Schiller Coastal Studies Center, and construction of new upperclass housing on Park Row.