Golf, Diversity and Bowdoin History

Yesterday’s brief account here on Bowdoin College and the apparent disarray of its history department drew a lot of attention, though we did not link to the full original article. The reason we did not link is that the text from the Claremont Review of Books appeared to be proprietary–sent only to subscribers for their use only. But Review editor Charles Kesler offered us permission, so here is “Golf Story,”  a remarkable bit of journalism by Thomas D. Klingenstein. The author played a round of golf last year with Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, and had a brief back-and-forth about liberal schools’ penchant for racial diversity and distaste for intellectual diversity.  Mills then seriously mischaracterized that back-and-forth in his convocation address a few weeks later. The Klingenstein essay briefly sets the record straight, then proceeds with a thoughtful discussion of the issues raised by and lessons learned from the exchange.  Thanks to Roger Clegg for noticing “Golf Story” before we did. 

Update:

The student newspaper, the Bowdoin Orient, provided excellent coverage of the story and Power Line, one of our favorite sites, has a memorable commentary on what it calls President Mills’ s “fabulation.” 

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

2 thoughts on “Golf, Diversity and Bowdoin History

  1. PRESIDENT BARRY MILLS, Ph. D. CONTINUES TO BRING BOWDOIN THRU CALM AND TROUBLED WATER AS PREDEFINED SOME 220 YEARS AGO WHEN “LITTLE HARVARD” WAS CONCIEVED AND FOUNDED IN THE “UPPER TERRITORY” OF MASSACHUSETTS. BOTH JAMES BOWDOIN, GOVERNOR OF MASS. AND HIS GENEROUS SON CONTINUE THEIR MISSION IN THE NOW STATE OF MIND. I AM NOT AWARE OF MR. THOMAS KINDERSTEIN’S OFFER TO PRES. MILLS. I AM SURE WILLIAMS COLLEGE PRESIDENT EMERITUS, SHAPIRO, SUFFERED SIMILAR REMARKS FROM THIS SON OF WILLIAMS COLLEGE. REASONS BBC FOR HIS BRINGING BOWDOINBUNDRR SCRUTINY MAY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE COLLEGES APPROVAL BY THOSE WHO DISSECT EVERY ASPECT OF HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS GIVING RATINGS ACCORDINGLY. I HAVE BEEN ON THE CAMPUSES OF UNIV. OF PENNSYLVANIA, HARVARD, DARTMOUTH AND WILLIAMS IN THE PAST YEAR. THE ENTHUSIASM FOR BOWDOIN IN THOSE COMMUNITIES BRINGS ON PRIDE AND AN EMOTIONAL HIGH! I BELIEVE MR. KINDERSTEIN IS LOOKING FOR AN INSTITUTION THAT MAY CHOSE TO PROTECT THE CONSERVATIVE NATURE OF THE PAST. THE PRODUCT OF HIGHERV EDUCSTION TAKES MANY YEARS TO DEFINE. THE TOOLS OF THE INITIAL EXPERIENCE AND DISCIPLINES ARE DESIGNED TO BE USED IMMEDIATELY, YET WITH THE VISION THAT EDUCATION MATURES WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF ONE’S PASSIONS COLORED BY THE CHALLENGES ONE CHOSES TO TEST THEIR VALIDITY. PRESIDENT MILLS AT BOWDOIN AND HIS WIFE, KAREN IN WASHINGTON BLEND THEIR MANY SKILLS AS THEY ARE CHALLENGED EVERY DAY TO BRING SUCCESS TO ACADEMIA,

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