Since its founding in 1914, the Alumni Council has been responsible for the creation and expansion of a multitude of alumni programs. Council members play a key role in building and maintaining lifelong relationships between Bowdoin alumni and the College, providing bridges across generations of Bowdoin graduates, developing valued services for classmates and friends, and giving a helping hand to Bowdoin students. The support, wisdom, and counsel of members on these and any other topics related to Bowdoin are welcome and invaluable to the Office of Alumni Relations.
Bowdoin's first Alumni Council consisted of twelve members. Elected by a general alumni ballot in 1914, the group convened at Commencement that year. Kenneth C.M. Sills (1901), then Dean of the College, played an influential role in the formation of the Council and called the initial meeting to order. This first Alumni Council immediately concerned itself with a revision of the Alumni Association Constitution, which it presented for adoption at the 1915 Commencement. The duties of the Alumni Council as prescribed by that revised Constitution are "to act as an executive committee of the Association and to represent the alumni in all instances where it may be necessary."
Much of the Council's work has been accomplished over the years through regular or special committees. In one way or another, the Alumni Council has been instrumental in starting or promoting the Alumni Fund, the Placement Bureau (now Career Planning Center), a separate Admissions office, the Office of Alumni Secretary (now Alumni Relations), the alumni magazine, an alumni directory, and the Cram Alumni House.
Traditionally, the Council met three times a year. In recent years, fall and spring meetings on campus have been supplemented by regular committee work. The Council's structure, leadership, meeting frequency and membership are determined largely by the Constitution of the Alumni Association.