Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / archives / 1.2.8 Collection Guide

Kenneth C. M. Sills, Adminstrative Records, 1889-1969, n.d.

47.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number: 1.2.8

Series List:


Agency History /
Biographical Note:

Kenneth Charles Morton Sills (1879-1954) was Bowdoin's eighth president. A graduate in the class of 1901, he served first as Dean of the College (1910-1917) under William DeWitt Hyde. Following Hyde's death in 1917, he served as acting president until 1918 when he assumed the presidency. His tenure in office is the longest in Bowdoin's history, 35 years.

A number of important issues and events characterized his presidency. He served through three wars and the Great Depression, took steps to maintain Bowdoin as a small liberal arts college, fought for and achieved institutional control over athletics, ended the B.S. degree distinction and closed the Medical School of Maine, while strengthening other areas of the curriculum and the faculty.

Scope and Content:
Files of President Kenneth C.M. Sills include general office correspondence and specific correspondence relating to the closing of the Medical School of Maine, the conferring of honorary degrees, athletics, fraternities, the Institute of Modern Literature, the establishment of the Kent Island Station, the Tallman Foundation and the Committee on the Limitation of Numbers. The files also include correspondence with a number of prominent alumni including Percival Baxter '98, William W. Lawrence '98, Ripley Dana '01, Harvey D. Gibson '02, Clement Robinson '03, Robert Hale '10, and Robert P.T. Coffin '15. For related Kenneth C.M. Sills materials, see the Kenneth C.M. Sills Collection.

Cite as: Kenneth C.M. Sills, Administrative Records. George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives. Bowdoin College Library.

Access Restrictions: None.

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