Spring Library Exhibit: “A New Vitality”

A New Vitality

“A New Vitality”: Celebrating 40 Years of Coeducation at Bowdoin


Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, 2nd floor
January 23 – June 2, 2012

For More Information: 207.725.3288


“… some form of coeducation is one of the most pressing needs of the College and the step best calculated to give new vitality to the entire Bowdoin Community.”
-Pierce Report (Study Committee on the Underclass Campus Environment), May 1969.

At their September meeting in 1970, the Governing Boards of Bowdoin College accepted the recommendation of the Pierce Report (named for committee chairman and Trustee William Curtis Pierce ‘28) and voted in favor of coeducation, thus ushering in the first class that included women degree candidates in the fall of 1971.

The exhibition A New Vitality, featuring documents, photographs, and publications from the Bowdoin College Archives, celebrates the fortieth anniversary of coeducation at Bowdoin by chronicling that transitional time in Bowdoin’s history and by demonstrating many of the ways that women in the Bowdoin community have enriched the fabric of college life throughout its history, both before and after the advent of coeducation.

A New Vitality complements a website devoted to the history of coeducation at Bowdoin, which was created as a class project by the students in Professor Jennifer Scanlon’s Fall 2011 class “Forty Years: The History of Women at Bowdoin” (GWS 280).


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