Whispering Pines: Discovering a Prodigal Son


Once again, what appeared to be straightforward connection between an object and a Bowdoin alumnus has led me on an endlessly fascinating journey through history. It started with an eBay listing for a somewhat blurry, sepia-toned stereopticon card showing a young man in a chair in what looks like a dormitory room. On the back of the card, written in pencil, is “Photo by S. A. Gűrdjian. Bowd Coll. ’77.” The gauntlet had been thrown down.

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Whispering Pines: A Suitable Monument

threepines-BDSEarlier in June, Americans commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the massive deployment of Allied troops during World War II to gain a foothold on the coast of France at Normandy. The speeches and ceremonies of June 6th focused on the events and sacrifices of that first day; less attention has been given to the subsequent landings in June and early July of 1944 that provided combat reinforcements and logistical support for the difficult 77-day Normandy campaign.

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Whispering Pines: Awakening

Whispering Pines

Fifty years ago this month, on May 5 and 6, 1964, civil rights leaders Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King, Jr., were on campus at the invitation of the student leaders of the Political Forum. A 1995 article in Bowdoin Magazine by Frederick Stoddard ’64, Berle Schiller ’65, and Christos Gianopoulos ’64 gives an account thirty years removed from the event itself, written by the students who had organized it. It would be difficult to overstate the degree to which the public speeches and private conversations with two giants of the civil rights movement changed the perspectives—and even the career trajectories—of Bowdoin students at the time.

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Whispering Pines: Pluck, Stuck, and High and Dry

Whispering PinesIn this month’s column, John Cross ’76 plies the waters of Lake Bowdoin.

There have undoubtedly been colder winters and snowier winters in Brunswick, but the winter of 2013-14 will be remembered for being experienced as a long and unpleasant one. Snow came early and fell late, midwinter thaws were comparatively brief interludes in a weather pattern that drew Arctic air southward. What we did not have on campus this year was the formation of a shallow lake on the quad, which in previous years inspired commentary in The Occident, the early April spoof of The Orient newspaper. Improved drainage systems underlying the grassy areas of the campus have made “Lake Bowdoin” an infrequent feature of the early spring landscape these days. As alumni can attest, it was not always thus.

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