Continuing a Bowdoin tradition, students new to the College gathered late Saturday afternoon on the Bowdoin Quad to be officially greeted by the president and other College officials.
Before Bowdoin President Clayton Rose addressed the class from the steps of the Walker Art Building, Dean of First Year Students Janet Lohmann and Dean of Admissions and Student Aid Scott Meiklejohn gave brief remarks. “I believe I speak for all of the faculty, staff, administrators and current students to express how delighted and enthusiastic we are to see you all gathered here,” Lohmann said.
Meiklejohn said this event was his favorite moment, when he saw all of the students come together as a class for the first time. He then introduced Rose, Bowdoin’s 15 president.
Rose began, “I am delighted to have my chance to welcome you, and to share a few thoughts about Bowdoin and the community you’ve joined and that will forever be a part of you. When you accepted our offer of admission you understood what a special place Bowdoin is. And after your trips I suspect you know it to be even more special than you realized.”
The president urged the students to “forge real and lasting relationships with your professors,” whom he praised for not only being great scholars and artists, but for also being “simply amazing, and among the finest and most dedicated teachers in American education.”
While Rose encouraged students to strive for excellence, he asked them to not be afraid of failing — and to expect to be rattled at times.
“A liberal arts education and intellectual experience is about being uncomfortable, and at times even rattled,” he said. “A great liberal arts education is not easy; by its nature it cannot be. But it will be deeply rewarding, and it will set you on a path to ambitiously engage the world, to continue learning, to confront hard problems, and to enjoy success. You will learn new ways of thinking about old problems, you will test ideas you hold dear, and reaffirm many of them, and perhaps adjust a few. …If you think the same way, and think about the same things in the same way four years from now, something has gone wrong.”