Interview with Richard Moll, Head of Admissions, by Samuel Shapiro ’14

AK20.1 - Image of first applicants with Dick Moll

AK20.1 - Image of first applicants with Dick Moll

Audio: click title below to begin listening

Shaping Coeducation Through Admissions: An Interview With Former Head of Admissions Richard Moll

As the head of admissions during Bowdoin’s coeducational process, Richard Moll was instrumental in ensuring the success of women at Bowdoin. He was given great freedom, allowing him to determine how best to attract women to this newly coeducational institution. To hear how he helped shape the first classes of women at Bowdoin, and hear his take on the entire coeducational process in the context of the time period, click the audio link.

Intriguing Pieces:
Time: 00:02:57
Quotation: [In reference to what role the admissions office had towards the advent of coeducation] “A lot that we didn’t have at Bowdoin College is probably because we didn’t have women. For example we had very limited programs in the arts, in music, we had sort of a raucous social scene and many of us thought it would be somewhat more even and balanced and mature if there were women. And consequently, the administration at the time […] were very interested in hearing what the admissions office had to say…”

Time: 00:11:00
Quotation: [In reference to what changes Bowdoin made to prepare for the arrival of women] “We did not make a lot of changes before a large number of the young women arrived. But we certainly had our ear to the ground on what they wanted that we didn’t have…”

Time: 00:24:05
Quotation: [In reference to the impact of coeducation within the greater context of the time period] “I disagree with the point of going coed being the biggest factor at the time. Clearly our making SATs optional in 1969 was the biggest thing that has ever happened to Bowdoin. The applicant pool tripled almost overnight and suddenly we were considered a progressive college and alone in that progressive category of optional SATs…”

Citation: I, Samuel Shapiro, interviewed former head of admissions Richard Moll on November 2nd, 2011, in his home in Brunswick, Maine. We discussed the role that the admissions office had in the coeducational process, as well the influence administrators had and resulting changes that occurred on campus.

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