Interview with James Pierce (Class of 1969) by Emma Kellogg

James Pierce at Reunion 2019 (photo credit: Ellery Harkness)

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Interviewer Name

Emma Kellogg (Class of 2020)

Interview Date


Interview Location

Brunswick, Maine

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James A. “Jim” Pierce (Class of 1969) recounts his sight-unseen arrival to Bowdoin in 1965. He speaks about the fraternity system’s dominance over everything from food and lodging to social life. He describes the fraternities’ drinking culture and hazing rituals, as well as the “eccentric” nature of his own fraternity, Alpha Rho Upsilon. Pierce comments on the milieu of “rugged Christianity” he felt at Bowdoin, especially through mandatory chapel attendance. Additionally, he talks about his experiences with the Glee and Drama Clubs, Bowdoin’s academic rigor, and the prank group the Green Hornet Construction Company. Pierce also reflects on feeling the presence and impacts of the Vietnam War on campus.

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