Leon A. Gorman, chairman of the board of L.L. Bean, Inc., will be
awarded The Bowdoin Prize, the highest honor the Bowdoin College bestows upon
one of its members. Gorman was a member of the Bowdoin College Class of 1956, and trustee emeritus of
He will be awarded The Bowdoin Prize during a special ceremony to be
held on campus Friday, October 1, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. in Pickard
Theater, Memorial Hall.
Gorman was named president of L.L. Bean in 1967 following the death of
his grandfather and company founder, Leon Leonwood Bean. Under Gorman's
leadership, L.L. Bean grew from a $4.75 million company to a
billion-dollar enterprise. He was named chairman of the board in 2001.
Gorman was chosen to receive the prize for his distinguished career as a
business leader, conservationist, and philanthropist. His nomination
for the prize was confirmed by the Committee of Award, the members of
which are the president of Harvard University, the president of Yale
University and the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.
Gorman graduated from Bowdoin in 1956 cum laude. He served in the U.S.
Navy for three years and joined L.L. Bean a year later. Gorman's 34
years as president of the company are detailed in L.L. Bean: The Making
of an American Icon (Harvard Business School Press, 2006). He was
awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1983 at Bowdoin's 178th
Commencement in recognition of his contributions to the welfare of Maine
and to higher education.
Gorman was named an overseer of Bowdoin College in 1983 and a trustee of
the College in 1994. He was elected trustee emeritus in 2002.
Among his many contributions to Bowdoin are major support for the
academic program, financial aid, faculty sabbaticals and the Outing
Club. A gift by Leon and Lisa Gorman enabled the College to establish
the Bowdoin College Coastal Studies Center on Orr's Island, a facility
dedicated in May 1998.
The generosity of Leon and Lisa Gorman has also touched many other
colleges and universities, medical facilities, museums, arts and
cultural organizations, wilderness and conservation societies, and
community service programs that meet the needs of the disadvantaged.
Leon A. Gorman is the 17th recipient of The Bowdoin Prize.