Bowdoin College president to give annual Founders Day address
January 12, 2012 By Diane Johnson
about technology and higher education, will deliver the keynote
address for Founders Day on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
Barry Mills, president of Bowdoin College in Maine and a noted thinker about technology and higher education, will deliver the keynote address for Centre College’s Founders Day at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18 in the Norton Center for the Arts. The title of his talk is “Teaching, Learning, and Technology.”
The program is free and open to the public. As part of the program, Centre will confer upon Mills the honorary degree Doctor of Laws.
Each year Centre marks the anniversary of its founding nearly two centuries ago with a Founders Day ceremony. Centre received its charter from the Kentucky legislature on Jan. 21, 1819.
Mills’ wide-ranging interests speak to the value of his own liberal arts education. After graduating cum laude from Bowdoin in 1972 with a double major in biochemistry and government, he earned a Ph.D. in biology in 1976 at Syracuse University and a law degree in 1979 at Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He returned to Bowdoin in its top post in 2001 after a successful two-decade career in New York City with the international law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, where he concentrated on real estate, corporate finance and corporate law.
During his tenure as Bowdoin president, he has replaced loans with grants for all students receiving financial aid, led the first major curriculum reform at Bowdoin since the early 1980s and built or renovated arts buildings, residence halls and an ice hockey arena. With a strong emphasis on sustainability at the college, many of the new facilities are “green.” In 2009, Bowdoin completed a $293 million capital campaign to strengthen the academic program; under his leadership the campaign ended two years early and $43 million over the original goal. Mills writes a popular weekly column for the college’s website on a variety of subjects of interest to him or of importance to the college.
Of particular interest to him of late is the role of technology and software in higher education.
“One could imagine innumerable ways that technology and the power to connect with colleagues nationally and internationally could allow us to expand our course offerings, or to become more global,” he wrote in an essay for Inside Higher Ed in the fall. “Already, the power to connect is used in meaningful ways by our faculty to collaborate with colleagues in research and scholarship. I suggest that expanding our conception of teaching to incorporate this technology in similar ways will incrementally enhance our educational enterprise.”
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Centre College, founded in 1819 and chosen to host its second Vice Presidential Debate in 2012, is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. Centre is also ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News for its study abroad program. For more, click here.