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Barry Mills: administrative records

 Record Group
Identifier: A01.02.14

  • Staff Only
  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Content

This collection contains inactive office files of President Mills. The majority of the records date from Mills' tenure as president of the college, but some were retained by the office from previous administrations. The subject files series contains the most composite portrait of the daily ongoings of the college.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1985 - 2015


Access Restrictions

Presidential records are generally restricted for 35 years following the conclusion of each president's administration. For Barry Mills' records under this restriction term will be elegible to have the restriction lifted beginning in 2050. Exceptions to this rule are records that were widely distributed at the time of creation (speeches and public messages, for example) and material that contains private or confidential information about individuals, which is closed for 75 years.

Biographical/Historical Note

Barry Mills was inaugurated as the fourteenth president of Bowdoin College in October 2001. The fifth alumnus of the College to serve as president, he graduated cum laude from Bowdoin in 1972, earned his doctorate in biology in 1976 at Syracuse University, and his law degree at the Columbia University School of Law in 1979. In 1979, Mills joined Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City and became a partner in 1986. His work at Debevoise concentrated on corporate law, real estate and corporate finance. Barry Mills was a member of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees from 1994 until 2000.

During his presidency at Bowdoin, Mills worked to build the endowment and resources for financial aid, while increasing enrollment. He also strived to increase diversity among students, faculty, and staff. Improved access to Bowdoin was a priority of the Mills administration; he declared financial aid fundraising to be the single most important initiative at the College and in 2008 the College announced the replacement of student loans with grants for all students receiving financial aid.

Bowdoin’s endowment grew during President Mills’ tenure, surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time in June 2013. Mills led “The Bowdoin Campaign,” a five-year fundraising effort that concluded in June 2009 and enhanced Bowdoin's academic program by adding faculty, focusing resources on the faculty/student experience, faculty scholarship, and the intellectual life of the College. The College acquired significant additional space for the future during the Mills presidency, adding 175 acres of developable land following the closure of the nearby Brunswick Naval Air Station.

His administration saw a number of major campus building projects, including the construction of Kanbar Hall for added classrooms, restoration of the Chapel towers, construction of new residence halls, renovation of the historic first-year brick dormitories, renovation of the Museum of Art, conversion of Curtis Pool to a recital hall, construction of a new hockey rink, Watson Arena, and a complete renovation of the former Longfellow Elementary School into the new Edwards Center for Art and Dance. In October 2013 President Mills announced Bowdoin’s plans to build a solar power array with a goal of producing about eight percent of the College’s annual electricity usage.

President Mills announced in April 2014 that he would step down as Bowdoin president in June 2015 at the conclusion of the 2014-2015 academic year.


17 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Guide to the Barry Mills Administrative Records
Emma Barton-Norris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288