Speech to the Alumni Council and Letter from A. LeRoy Greason and Letter from LeRoy Greason to Peter Hayes

Early discussions about the possibility of coeducation at Bowdoin occurred on a number of levels: in faculty and trustee meetings; in the Student Council; and between students, alumni, and staff in a variety of formats. In this February 1968 speech given at a meeting of the Alumni Council (Document AW, 44.1), Student Council President Peter […]

Orient: Fraternity Rush Nets Ample “Pledge” Yield

On September 22, 1972 the college’s student newspaper, The Bowdoin Orient, printed an article regarding the 1972 fall fraternity rush (Document SS, 45).  The article details the number of new students who pledged the different houses as well as issues with that year’s fall rush.  The article states that 54% (196) of the freshman class […]

Orient: Beta Girls at Home, Brookie Trust Busted

Prior to coeducation, Bowdoin men often socialized with women from Westbrook College, located in Portland, Maine.  The Westbrook women, known as Brookies, were not always well respected, and Westbrook College was given negative labels that included “Bowdoin’s Bedroom.” This article appeared in the October 9, 1972 issue of The Bowdoin Orient, Bowdoin’s weekly newspaper (Document […]

Orient: AKS Headed for Armageddon

This Orient article (Document AW, 47), published October 13, 1972, considers Alpha Kappa Sigma, the last all-male fraternity, which the author jokingly compares to “the hordes of Genghis Khan” and “the Brunswick Municipal Zoo.” Although the article is ostensibly about Kappa Sig’s reputation as a particularly raucous house, much of the discussion hinges on its […]

Orient: Chauvinistic Oinkings

In the years following coeducation, the presence of women students raised many unanticipated questions for the College. These ranged greatly in scale, from large issues, like gynecological health and coeducational fraternities, to much more quotidian matters, like intramural sports. This Orient editorial, which appeared in the April 27, 1973 edition (Document AW, 48), illuminates some […]

Orient: Golden Age for Bowdoin Greeks

Before they were phased out, beginning in the late 1990s, fraternities were an important part of Bowdoin’s social life. This article, which outlines the history of Greek life at the College, ran on the front page of the Orient on September 28, 1973 (Document AW, 49). It notes, “fraternities at Bowdoin have never been quite […]

Fall 1975 Rush Booklet

Bowdoin’s Interfraternity Council issued annual rush booklets (Document SS, 50), which served as an introduction to the college’s fraternities.  After an introduction and some rules, the booklets gave individual fraternities the opportunity to describe themselves to the students.  Most of these features are about three paragraphs in length.  John Cross ’76, the then Interfraternity Council […]

1982-83 Rush Booklet

The 1982-1983 rush booklet (Document SS, 51) is structured the same as the 1975 booklet.  This booklet reflects women’s further inclusion in Bowdoin’s social scene.  In this one almost every fraternity indicates that women have full membership.  Only two fraternities that at this point limit women’s membership.  Chi Psi was the only all-male fraternity.  They […]

DKE Member Photo

In addition to administrative and practical concerns, coeducation at Bowdoin presented complications for campus social life, which was, at the time, dominated by fraternities. Even though women had been on campus, and were often bused in from women’s colleges across New England for parties, they now had to be incorporated into the College’s residential system, […]

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