Although women were not admitted to Bowdoin until 1971, their presence on campus began much earlier. Wives of men at the College started an organization called the Bowdoin Wives Association. They had an office on the second floor of Moulton Union and were there from ten to noon every weekday. People were encouraged to stop by if they needed a babysitter or a job, someone to talk to, or simply to hear the latest gossip. They created a newsletter for the group in 1947 called “Chit-Chat.” Their motto for the first few years was “Happy Wives Mean Contended Husbands.” This soon changed to be “Happy WIVES mean a better Bowdoin.”
The newsletter (Document SC, 6) provided a way for the women to hear the latest news in their group and also in the larger college community. The association put on activities for Bowdoin men, including a big dance in Moulton Union. They offered resources to women in the club and community as displayed in the “opportunity corner.” These included student babysitters and laundry services at Stowe Inn. The newsletter also included recipes and announced new members and the births of children. This issue offered cheap and easy recipes that the women could make for their husbands and children. The wives of the men at the College found and created their own little niche. These newsletters provide insight into the interests and activities of women at Bowdoin before coeducation.