Walter H. Moulton ’58 died on April 26, 2020 in Homosassa, Florida.
(President Clayton Rose sent the following message to the Bowdoin community on April 29, 2020)
It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of Director of Student Aid Emeritus Walter H. Moulton, of the Class of 1958, on April 26 in Homosassa, Florida, at the age of eighty-three.
Born on July 23, 1936, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to Walter H. and Mary (Pomeroy) Moulton, Walter graduated from North Quincy High School and enrolled at Bowdoin as a member of the Class of 1958. At Bowdoin he was in ROTC, a Dean’s List student, a member of the Glee Club, and president of Chi Psi Fraternity. He majored in English, with a minor in history, and was the recipient of the Hawthorne Prize for the best short story in 1958.
After his graduation he served for two years in the US Army Reserve as an instructor in the Gunnery Department of the US Army’s Artillery and Missile School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. He married Elizabeth G. Gelders on June 27, 1959. After his military service, Walter worked for a year as a bond salesman in New York City for the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago.
In 1961 he returned to Bowdoin as assistant director of admissions, where his knowledge of the College and his keen awareness of the needs and concerns of student applicants and their families made him an invaluable member of the Bowdoin community. From 1962 to 1965 he also undertook graduate study in history at Columbia University. In 1967 he became the director of student aid at Bowdoin, where he helped families and students navigate an increasingly complex landscape of scholarships, financial aid regulations, and loan programs.
One may gain an appreciation of the breadth and scope of Walter’s commitment to finding ways for students of promise to attend Bowdoin (or to aspire for higher education generally) through his active participation in shaping financial aid policies. He was a member of the Northeast Regional Panel of Financial Aid Consultants of the College Scholarship Service, a director and vice-chair of the Maine Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority, president of the Maine Association of Financial Aid Administrators, chair of the Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Committee of Financial Needs Analysis, a director of the Maine Loan Marketing Corporation, a member of the Maine State Scholarship Board of Review, and executive director of the Maine Educational Loan Authority. Walter could see the big picture on financial aid, from trends in federal funding of loan programs to the individual circumstances of a student whose summer job didn’t materialize.
In the Brunswick community, Walter was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and in 1976 was selected to be the commanding officer of the Brunswick Bicentennial Militia. An avid golfer, he was the 2004 winner of the Brunswick Golf Club’s Senior Club Championship. In Bowdoin affairs, Walter served as secretary of the Faculty Committee on Financial Aid and was the faculty representative to the Bowdoin Alumni Council in 1981–1982. In 1979 he established the Walter H. and Mary I. Moulton Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor the memory of his parents. An anonymous donor established a scholarship fund in Walter’s name in 1998 in celebration of Walter’s legacy of progressive reforms in financial aid programs. He received the Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff in 1998, in recognition of his outstanding service to the College over the course of his career. He retired in 1999, after thirty-eight years of doing all that he could to make sure that the doors of opportunity would remain open for deserving students.
Given the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no current plans for a memorial service. The family has suggested that gifts in Walter’s memory may be directed to the Walter H. and Mary I. Moulton Memorial Scholarship Fund, 4100 College Station, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME 04011.
Walter believed deeply in the power of education to change lives and to improve society, and he dedicated his life and his career to making a Bowdoin education possible for students of promise who might otherwise never have the opportunity. For him, admissions and financial aid decisions were an expression of his confidence in a student’s character and potential, and generations of Bowdoin students drew strength from his support. We share with Walter’s wife, Elizabeth, his children, Andrew, Elizabeth, Katherine, and Jennifer, and his six grandchildren a deep sense of loss at his passing. With them, we celebrate his remarkable spirit and a legacy that lives on in generations of Bowdoin alumni whose lives were transformed by the faith that Walter showed in them.