The Society of Bowdoin Women was established in 1922 for two main purposes; first, to help with the endowment, and second, to offer a hospitable place for women while they waited on the campus. The Society offered a gathering place for women to wait for “their” Bowdoin men and to meet other women. Members had to pay annual dues. They also had to “love” a Bowdoin man, whether he be a grandson, son, brother, husband, or friend.
The Society was composed of a governing board of five people including president, honorary president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. The honorary president was the role reserved for the College president’s wife. The remaining members of the Executive Board held their positions for two years and took turns doing so.
The Society had a positive impact on the College. The Constitution states that the intention of the society was to assist in the College’s endowment (Document SC, 4). In addition to this, with their annual dues the group was able to make small donations to the College, including china for the Dean’s house and a television for the Infirmary. The members also sponsored lectures by exceptional women. They established the Edith Lansing Sills Lecture Fund in honor of Mrs. Sills, wife of a former Bowdoin president. This became a biannual lecture on campus. The most recent Edith Lansing Sills Lecturers at Bowdoin were Anita Hill in 2008 and Bettye Collier-Thomas in 2011.