The gift will support construction of a state-of-the-art dry laboratory connected to the center's existing marine laboratory, as well as a convening center featuring modernized classrooms, housing, and dining facilities for students, faculty, and visiting scholars. The new facilities will provide opportunities for field- and laboratory-based learning and interdisciplinary study related to critical issues of coastal and climate concern unlike those available at any other liberal arts college in the country. In recognition of the gift, the coastal studies center has been renamed the Schiller Coastal Studies Center.
"We all have a role to play in preserving our natural habitats," said Gassett-Schiller. "We wanted to do our part in advancing ocean conservation in collaboration with Bowdoin, which has one of the world's most prestigious environmental studies programs and a beautiful, rich coastline. The ocean is their lab." She and Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, are the parents of Bowdoin alumnus Mark Schiller ('17).
Bowdoin College president Clayton S. Rose hailed the gift as an "extraordinary act of generosity and vision by Phil and Kim Schiller[that] will transform the Coastal Studies Center into a facility where students and faculty from Bowdoin and from other institutions can gather together for concentrated periods to learn from each other and to advance knowledge and understanding about the ocean, marine science, and the impact of climate change on marine life."