Bowdoin College

Major: English

Fraternity: Alpha Delta Phi

Influential Bowdoin Faculty/Staff: Doug McGee, Larry Hall, Franklin Burroughs, Chuck Huntington, John Donovan, Charlie Butt


Everything I enjoy in life today can be traced back to my four years at Bowdoin. Some come from straight line connections; some from life’s left turns that eventually bring us back to where we started.

In the fall of 1969, I had my heart set on going to Dartmouth until one day Dick Moll showed up at my small private school in Pittsburgh and changed my life forever. I went home that afternoon and told my parents, “I’m going to Bowdoin.” It was the only school to which I applied, and I have never regretted that decision.

Had I not gone to Bowdoin and fatefully elected to take Chuck Huntington’s ornithology course during my first semester I would never have become life-long friends with Sam and Sally Butcher, John and Cynthia Howland, and their families.

Had I not gone to Bowdoin I would never have taken Doug McGee’s course Literature as Philosophy which redirected my life and saved me from my parent’s divorce.

Had I not gone to Bowdoin I would never have had Louis Coxe as my thesis advisor who encouraged me to attend Trinity College, Dublin for graduate school. Had I not gone to Bowdoin and Trinity the publisher of Aperture would have never hired me as managing editor for my first job.

Had I not gone to Bowdoin and worked at Aperture I would never have met the mentors and friends, some now gone, who have remained in my life to this day.

Had I not gone to Bowdoin I would not have met the woman who became my wife and together have the three wonderful sons we have today, David, Sam, and Adam—two of whom chose to go to Bowdoin, too.

Then a few left turns: an MBA at New York University, a career in global advertising management, life in New York with sojourns in Barcelona, Singapore, and Melbourne, Australia where our youngest son Adam was born.

Divorce. A move to San Francisco where, having always been a competitive pool swimmer, I took up open water swimming every day in the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay—and swam  solo the eleven-mile width of Lake Tahoe for my 65th birthday.

In San Francisco I had the lucky break to lose a job and gain a new career. Finding myself with time and a salary I met a career counselor who asked, “What have you always wanted to do but have never done?” I replied, “Teach.” I had set out from Bowdoin to be a college English professor, but then those left turns intervened. Now I had the opportunity—not English, but graduate level business school. Through the kind help of a stranger (The career counselor had told me to tell everyone I met what my goal was, and someone would help me. Someone did.) I began teaching at Stanford in 2010 and the rest is history.

In January 2020 I moved back East to Boston, just in time for the city and world to shut down, completing the full circle return to New England. Today I teach business at Northeastern University, Hult International Business School, and am responsible for marketing at The Fletcher School at Tufts. Life (work!) is full.

I swim at Walden Pond and in Boston Harbor, spend weekends with friends in Germantown, New York on the Hudson River, and son Sam and family in the Berkshires. I visit Maine and Bowdoin often. Retirement is a concept I don’t understand and am lucky to have found this new career–and life—fulfillment, truly the fulfillment of The Offer of the College.

I am forever grateful to Bowdoin College.

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