Sunday, April 7, 2013


This is based on an article in the Wall Street Journal Weekend with a sub-title of: The Tale of a teed-off philanthropist and the head of Bowdoin College, where identity politics runs wild.

Bowdoin College, founded in 1794, is a private liberal arts college located in the coastal Maine town of Brunswick. Beautifully situated in northern Maine, Bowdoin was ranked 6th among the National Liberal Arts Colleges in the U.S. News Report Ranking in 2012 and is ranked 14th on Forbes Magazine's list of America's Top Colleges. [Wikipedia]

One summer day in 2010, the college president, Barry Mills, met investor and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein for a round of golf, whom Barry considered as a potential donor. Apparently these gentlemen had a difference of opinion that day, that had zero to do with par, but apparently followed a lively discussion of what the college was teaching.

Several weeks after the golf outing, Mr. Mills spoke of the day in a speech to the freshman class and said he had been interrupted in the middle of his swing by Klingenstein, who said to Mills that he would ‘never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons’….. [and furthermore] blasted Bowdoin's ‘misplaced and misguided diversity efforts.’
When Mr. Klingenstein heard of the speech, he responded to Mills in the pages of the Claremont Review of Books, calling it nonsense.

"He didn't like my views, so he turned me into a backswing interrupting, Bowdoin-hating boor who wants to return to the segregated days of Jim Crow."

The real story, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, was that "I explained my disapproval of 'diversity' as it generally has been implemented on college campuses: too much celebration of racial and ethnic difference," coupled with "not enough celebration of our common American identity."

For this, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, Bowdoin's president insinuated that he was a racist. Mills stood by his own version of events. Several months later, Mr. Klingenstein decided to do something surprising: He commissioned researchers to examine Bowdoin's commitment to intellectual diversity, rigorous academics and civic identity.
‘…researchers from the National Association of Scholars studied speeches by Bowdoin presidents and deans, formal statements of the college's principles, official faculty reports and notes of faculty meetings, academic course lists and syllabi, books and articles by professors, the archive of the Bowdoin Orient newspaper and more. ‘
The project lasted 18 months. The results came out this week. Its picture of Bowdoin isn't pretty.

Read the report here:
‘There's the obsession with race, class, gender and sexuality as the essential forces of history and markers of political identity. There's the dedication to "sustainability," or saving the planet from its imminent destruction by the forces of capitalism. And there are the paeans to "global citizenship," or loving all countries except one's own.
The Klingenstein report nicely captures the illiberal or fallacious aspects of this campus doctrine, but the paper's true contribution is in recording some of its absurd manifestations at Bowdoin. For example, the college has "no curricular requirements that center on the American founding or the history of the nation." Even history majors aren't required to take a single course in American history. In the History Department, no course is devoted to American political, military, diplomatic or intellectual history—the only ones available are organized around some aspect of race, class, gender or sexuality.’
One of the few requirements is that Bowdoin students take a yearlong freshman seminar. Some of the 37 seminars offered this year: "Affirmative Action and U.S. Society," "Fictions of Freedom," "Racism," "Queer Gardens" (which "examines the work of gay and lesbian gardeners and traces how marginal identities find expression in specific garden spaces"), "Sexual Life of Colonialism" and "Modern Western Prostitutes."
I would be willing to submit that one could take these findings, strike out the words Bowdoin College, and insert 75% of the liberal arts colleges nationwide in its place…. and have a really good shot at accuracy in reporting.


  1. Good for you!

    This project funded as it was by T. Klingstein is a golf shot needed to be heard around the nation's campuses.

    I confess, I now plan on regressing 35 years, apply to Bowdoin and join the student body. What made me want to be a young student at Bowdoin? bowels full of condoms in every floor in every dorm.Sounds like good hippy times are here again. As an aging hippy, I sure miss being in the company of other hippies running free-love, everything-goes, America-is-the-pits that is the beautiful Bowdoin college nowadays.

    Go Bowdoin!

    1. ROFLMAO! If the hippie generation had any idea what was down the road they would have died of happiness.... the latest pearl of wisdom being A GIRL OF ANY AGE CAN GET THE MORNING-AFTER-MURDER-MY-BABY PILL without an ID or a Rx... Just look how far we've come (or how far we've sunk into depravity)

  2. WTF!! Even history majors don't take American doubt if they DID offer American history it would be all bad crap about how hateful we are!

    1. It's outrageous, isn't it! The HATE AMERICA crown is winning!