Report of C.E.P. Sub-committee on Coeducation

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, many single-sex colleges across the country began to consider transitioning into coeducational institutions. In 1969, Bowdoin became one of twelve colleges to participate in a Twelve College Exchange program that allowed male and female students to spend a semester to a full year studying at a college from […]

Memorandum to President Howell

In considering the transition to coeducation, colleges and universities around the United States began to reflect on the many changes that would occur or be required in admitting the “opposite sex”. Prospective changes included those to living facilities and dormitories, dining halls, infirmary and athletic buildings, and notably, college curricula. Bowdoin addressed the anticipation of […]

Orient: Greason Attacks

In 1969, two years prior to the admission of women to the College, Bowdoin decided to drop its distribution requirements. After that decision, and then in light of the transition to coeducation, Bowdoin’s curriculum underwent significant scrutiny in the early 1970s. In this Orient article, (Document SW, 34), the author documents Dean of the College, […]

Survey of Data on Entering Freshmen

Since the end of World War I, many colleges and universities across the United States have recorded data on their incoming first-year classes. The surveys still in evidence at Bowdoin cover a wide range of topics including race, family educational background, religious preference, marital status, home location, and reasons for attending college. Until the early […]

Distribution Tables, Number of Freshmen and Courses Taken by Majors

Three years after the official announcement of Bowdoin’s transition to coeducation, specifically in August 1974, a committee entitled the Special Committee on the Curriculum began its operation. Although initially comprised of ten members and a consultant, by the time the data part of the report presented here was released, that is, on March 10, 1976, […]

Orient: Focus on Fine Arts and Letters to the Editor

After admitting its first female students in the fall of 1971, Bowdoin began to reassess the demands on departments, courses, and/or facilities that women’s presence on campus introduced. Specifically, Bowdoin sought to revamp its art facilities and to offer more arts and humanities classes. Faced with new or better course options within the realm of […]

Faculty Focus Group

This discussion involved four professors who arrived on Bowdoin’s campus either shortly before or after the College began admitting female students in 1971. If you are interested in hearing how Professors Vail, Cafferty, Cerf, and Potholm recount their experiences of Bowdoin’s transition to coeducation with regard to classroom dynamics, course content, student-professor relations, and faculty/departmental […]

Interview with Professor Helen Cafferty by K. Skyler Walley ’12

  Finding Her Way Through the Bowdoin Professorial Ranks: A Discussion with Helen Cafferty    As one of the first female professors hired at Bowdoin during its transition to coeducation, and the first female professor to pass through all the ranks, from assistant to associate to full professor, Helen Cafferty has had a remarkable experience […]

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