Archives for October 2011

Whispering Pines: Night of the Great Revolution

In this month’s column, John Cross ’76 examines the tumultuous history of a campus landmark.

Following the end of World War I, the College sought to create an appropriate memorial to honor the 29 Bowdoin alumni who lost their lives in the “war to end all wars.”  In April of 1920 the Committee on the War Memorial was formed, and the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White was selected to design the monument, with William Kendall, Charles McKim’s gifted protégé, in charge. Kendall had designed the New York general post office building on Eighth Avenue (1908-13) – and also the Municipal Building in Manhattan (1914). It was Kendall who had a quote from Herodotus inscribed over the entrance to the post office building that has since become the unofficial motto of the postal service: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

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Slideshow: Pumpkin Pi Proves Integral to Bowdoin Math Department

Last Halloween, Amanda Gartside ’12 botched up infinity. This year, the math major is shooting for something a bit more manageable, like pi. Pumpkin pi, that is.

Gartside is one of the student organizers of the Math Department’s annual pumpkin carving event. The informal get-together of students, professors and their families has become a tradition in the math department, with students attempting to outdo each other with Bowdoin and math-themed jack o’ lanterns.

“It’s as creative as the students are,” says Jennifer Taback, associate professor of mathematics. “One year somebody tried to carve one of the professor’s faces. I don’t think it came out too well …”

Gartside says she looks forward to the event all year. “This was one of the things that attracted me to the math department in the first place, when I was a freshman,” she says. “I saw the department had a sense of togetherness.”

The pumpkins will be on display on the steps of Searles Hall, the math department’s home. Currently more than 100 students are majoring and minoring in mathematics at Bowdoin.