James W. MacAllen ’66

James W. MacAllen ’66, trustee emeritus, died on August 16, 2018, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

(The following notice was shared by President Rose on August 16, 2018)

To the Bowdoin community,

It is with great sadness that I write to tell you of the passing of Trustee Emeritus Jim MacAllen ’66, who died this morning at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jim was devoted to Bowdoin—as an outstanding athlete and campus leader in his undergraduate days, as a dedicated alumnus who gave generously of his time, talent, and resources to the College, and as a trustee whose leadership was characterized by wisdom, passion, kindness, and eloquence.  

Jim was born on February 19, 1944, in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Hingham High School, where he established a strong record in the classroom, in student government, and on the football and baseball fields. 

At Bowdoin, Jim was an economics major, sang in the Glee Club, was a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity, played baseball for two seasons, and was on the track team in his sophomore year. But it was Jim’s performance as a wide receiver on the football team that attracted the greatest attention. By the time he graduated, Jim held records for the most career catches, most career yards, and most career and single-season touchdowns by a receiver. He still holds both touchdown records and is among the leading Bowdoin receivers in other categories. He was named to the Associated Press First Team All-New England (all divisions) and the All-Maine and United Press International New England Small College teams, and he received All-East Honorable Mention honors. The Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League offered him a free-agent contract. Although he was eventually cut from the team, he was always grateful for having been given the opportunity to compete at the highest levels of the sport. In 2010 he was inducted into the Bowdoin College Athletic Hall of Honor.

Jim earned an MBA in 1968 from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Graduate Business Education. He married Patricia Steinke in June of that year and also began his career as an analyst in the securities department of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. He received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1977. Jim held senior executive positions in the investments field with the Allstate Insurance Company in Northbrook, Illinois, and with the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. In 1983 he joined Wilmington Capital Management, Inc. in Delaware before returning to the Boston area as chief investment officer for David L. Babson & Co. He served as the firm’s president until his retirement in 1999.

Jim engaged in public service wherever he lived, drawing on his leadership skills and financial experience to advance the work of boards or committees for diverse organizations, such as the Nellie Mae Foundation (director), the Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company (director), the South Shore YMCA (chair), the Gettysburg College Parents Executive Committee, the Springfield Public Forum (past president), Bay State Medical Center, the Hingham Public Library, the Hingham Scholarship Fund Committee, numerous committees of the United Methodist Church of West Chester, the United Way, the Springfield Institution for Savings, and the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale.

Bowdoin benefited in so many ways over so many years from his energy and generosity. He served as a BASIC representative and a career advisor and an associate class agent for the Class of 1966. Over the years, he filled a variety of important roles for his class reunions, including special gifts chair, planned giving chair, and reunion co-chair. He was also an Alumni Fund director, serving as chair in 1992-1993. Jim was elected to the board of overseers in 1995 and became a trustee when the College adopted a unicameral system of governance. He served on a number of committees of the trustees, including the executive, audit, student affairs, admissions and financial aid, development and college relations, and campaign steering committees. Jim provided me with remarkable advice, wisdom, and support from my first days at the College, for which I will always be grateful.

Jim co-established the Class of 1966 Memorial Scholarship Fund and supported a number of other scholarship funds that honored those who were important to his Bowdoin experience. In 2004 Jim and Pat established the James W. and Patricia A. MacAllen Scholarship Fund at Bowdoin. 

Jim was awarded the Alumni Service Award at his fiftieth reunion in 2016. That same year, the board of trustees voted emeritus status for this loyal Bowdoin son and, last fall, the board decided to name one of the upper-class residences now under construction on Park Row in Jim’s honor.

Jim is survived by his wife, Pat, his daughter, Carrie Baumgartner, his son, David MacAllen, and six grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 1, at the United Church of Christ, 460 Main Street, Norwell, MA.


Julianne and I are deeply saddened by Jim’s passing, and our hearts go out to his family and many friends at this difficult time. Our college has lost a steadfast advocate and selfless leader, and all of us who knew Jim have lost a treasured friend. We are humbled and inspired by his example, by his spirit, and by his life well lived.



1 Comment James W. MacAllen ’66

Add a Reminiscence:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *