January 16, 2018
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Bowdoin commencement on May 24

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BRUNSWICK, Maine — Bowdoin will hold its 209th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24, and confer Bachelor of Arts degrees on 485 graduates.

Watch Commencement live onlineSchedule of events, answers to frequently asked questions and other information here.

President Barry Mills will preside and award degrees on the terrace of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on the Quad. In the event of very severe weather, Commencement will be held in Sidney J. Watson Arena.

Among the graduates are 49 students from Maine. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia are represented, includingMassachusetts with 84 students, New York with 61, Connecticut with 40 and California with 33. Twenty-six graduates are international students, representing 15 countries and territories.

Since 1806, Bowdoin has given the honor of speaking at commencement to graduating seniors. Until 1877 every graduate had a speaking part. The custom of selecting student commencement speakers through competition began in the 1880s.

Past speakers have included poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1825, House Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed 1860, Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary 1877 and biologist and researcher Alfred Kinsey ’16. James Denison ‘14 and Kate Kearns ’14 are this year’s Commencement speakers.

Other participants include U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who will deliver greetings from the state of Maine, and the Rev. Robert E. Ives ’69, Bowdoin’s Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, who will deliver the invocation.

During Commencement, Bowdoin will award honorary doctorates civil rights advocate Mary Bonauto, career diplomat Christopher Hill ’74, renowned ornithologist Richard Prum and pioneering physiological researcherHarriet Wallberg.