Bowdoin College’s president will step down from his post at the end of the next school year.
Clayton Rose, who became the Brunswick college’s 15th president in 2015, said Tuesday morning that he reached his decision to step down on June 30, 2023, after “considerable thought,” calling Bowdoin a “special place” with “amazing” faculty, staff and students.
His imminent departure from Bowdoin comes as life across the state and country begins to settle into life under COVID-19 after more than two years of the pandemic. Maine’s colleges and universities were particularly hard hit early on, with Bowdoin losing millions as its campus closed and it moved to remote learning.
The financial pain from the pandemic turned out to be less than initially forecast, enabling the college to reverse spending cuts that hit staff and faculty salaries and benefits.
“With Bowdoin stronger than it has ever been in virtually every regard and with the clear prospect of life on campus and elsewhere returning to normal in the months ahead as we learn to live with the ups and downs of the virus, the end of the next academic year will be the right time to welcome a new president to the College,” he said in an email to the campus community.
Rose called Bowdoin’s financial position “exceptional,” pointing to its From Here campaign that has raised 85 percent of its $500 million goal and a $2.72 billion endowment.
Robert F. White, the chair of the college’s board of trustees, said they accepted Rose’s resignation with “great reluctance.”
“We wouldn’t be here without Clayton’s vision, steadfast leadership, quiet confidence, and his insightful ability to bring people together for common ends. His ethical bearing and dedication to the mission of our college have been evident all along the way, and the wisdom, fortitude, and compassion he has shown these last two years continue to guide all of us through one of the most challenging periods in our own history and for all of higher education,” White said.
During his time as president, Rose has overseen a 40 percent increase in applications to Bowdoin, including a 115 percent increase among first-generation college students and 50 percent increase among students of color, according to the college. Bowdoin has constructed new residential halls and academic buildings, as well as expanded support for study of the environment, ocean and Arctic.
Before joining Bowdoin, Rose spent 20 years working in finance, including as vice chair at J.P. Morgan, and taught in Harvard’s Business School. He is also the chair of the board of trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and sits on the board of Bank of America.