Barry Mills: A Holiday Message to Those Who Serve

Barry and Karen Mills send holiday wishes to Bowdoin alumni serving in the military.

On Monday, Karen and I sent the following message to Bowdoin alumni serving in the armed forces of the Unites States. The trouble is, the College has current contact information for only some of these men and women, so we know we were not able to reach everyone. The message is reprinted here in the hope that our Bowdoin Daily Sun subscribers and readers will help by forwarding this message to other Bowdoin alumni serving our country in the military—especially those serving abroad at a time when most of the rest of us are able to spend this time at home with family and friends. Thank you for helping us pass this along. It comes with our very best wishes to all for a happy and safe holiday season.



To Bowdoin Alumni Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces,

As we approach the holiday season, many of us at Bowdoin are thinking of you. This message may not immediately reach all of you, but it comes with the very best wishes of your college and with our hope that the holidays and the new year will find you safe and in good spirits.

America faces many challenges at home and abroad, as it always has. Our college was founded at the birth of the American republic, and since that time, Bowdoin alumni have been leaders in defending our nation and its principles. Each of you joins the likes of Chamberlain and Howard, Haldane and Pope, and many other men and women who have heard Bowdoin’s call to serve the common good as a charge to defend and promote our way of life in the military. Yours is a singular sacrifice, and those of us at home appreciate and respect all that you do.

For many of you, it hasn’t been long since you walked the paths of the Bowdoin Quad. You will remember this time of year—classes ending, days growing shorter (and colder), and the holiday meal offered as a sendoff to students amid their exams. Attached to this message are a few audio offerings for your enjoyment—recordings that we hope will bring you back to your own time at Bowdoin.

Thank you for your service, your resolve, and your courage.

With warm wishes,

Barry and Karen Mills


A Gift of Song

Please feel free to download and enjoy these selections from the Bowdoin Department of Music. (All music tracks are in stereo .mp3 format.)

Bowdoin Chorus – Anthony Antolini ’63, director

“Raise Songs to Bowdoin” .mp3
Sean Fleming, accompanist
Original words: Henry H. Pierce, Class of 1898

“Hail Black and White!” .mp3
Sean Fleming, accompanist
Composed by: George Sumner

“Bowdoin Beata” .mp3
Sean Fleming, accompanist
Original words: K.C.M. Sills, Class of 1901

A Gift of Story

Compression Wood
Harrison King McCann Research Professor of the English Language Emeritus Franklin Burroughs reads the full text of his award-winning essay Compression Wood in a 2001 recording at Bowdoin College. Originally published in The American Scholar, it examines the “world of words,” in which “we seem to have words only for thoughts that already have been thought, and for emotions and perceptions that don’t quite feel like our own,” writes Burroughs.

Compression Wood, read by Franklin Burroughs .mp3


In the coming weeks, I will continue to offer my thoughts on subjects interesting to me or of importance to the College, but I want to hear your ideas too. If there is a subject you’d like me to address, send me an e-mail at

Previous Bowdoin Daily Sun columns by President Barry Mills are available on here or on the Bowdoin website.

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