As I reflect on the last 50 years, I realize that my acceptance to Bowdoin and my education there were defining moments of my life.
I grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a poor, working-class mill town where education played a subordinate role to football and where less than 2 percent of my graduating high school class went on to any form of further education. Lacking college guidance, I traveled to the Boston YMCA for a free session with a counselor, who strongly recommended that I consider applying to Bowdoin.
Prior to that meeting, I knew nothing about the college. Lawrence High School left me ill-prepared for the rigors of a Bowdoin education. Yet, Bowdoin took a chance on me, gave me scholarship assistance, and—most importantly—provided me with a wonderful education, countless memories and everlasting friendships. In three semesters, I was able to "catch up" to my classmates, thanks to the tremendous support of my professors, fraternity brothers and coaches. I attribute much of my success to the core values I learned during those wonderful four years.
Since then, my bond and commitment to Bowdoin have only become stronger. I had the pleasure of vicariously enjoying Bowdoin a second time as I watched my son Matt and then future daughter-in-law Karla both receive Bowdoin educations and come to have the same feelings and commitments to the college. Through them, I was reminded of what the "Common Good" is all about, and my dream to give back to Bowdoin was strengthened.
My wife, Judy, and I are committed to doing whatever we can to enable others to experience a Bowdoin education. That is why we decided to establish an endowed scholarship to benefit students from the rural mountain counties of New Hampshire where we have lived for the last several years. This scholarship is in addition to our alumni fund gifts and estate plan provisions. We are proud to be able to do our small part to help ensure that Bowdoin can continue to be the very special place it is today.
-Steve Siegel '65
Steve earned an economics degree at Bowdoin followed by a J.D. at New York University School of Law. After initially practicing corporate law, he was a senior executive for several publically traded companies. Subsequently, he became the COO and CFO of Filene's Basement. He began his career in franchising by establishing Dunkin' Donuts in London, England, and then returned to Boston where he became a multi-unit franchisee of Dunkin' Donuts. He was selected by professional colleagues to become the first franchisee to serve as chairman of the International Franchise Association. In 2004, he retired with Judy to the mountains of New Hampshire to hike and enjoy the outdoors. He now acts as a senior advisor to two large private equity firms in the retail and franchising sectors. Steve was a Bowdoin class agent for many years and has also served on the Alumni Council.