D. Ellen Shuman '76

A trailblazer for women’s athletics at Bowdoin, Ellen Shuman broke down barriers through her diving and became one of the finest at her craft in New England history.

Coming to Brunswick from Washington and Lee High School, Shuman found a college with scarcely a women’s athletics program and no women’s swim team in 1972. Undaunted, she joined the men’s swim team and competed individually, reaching heights that saw her become the program’s first New England champion.

She graduated holding the one-meter (368.55) and three-meter (388.19) diving marks, claiming the 1976 New England women’s one-meter diving crown. She was a six-time All-New England performer, taking one first-place, one second-place, and four third-place finishes against competitors across all divisions. She was also the only woman ever to reach the finals of the men’s New England Diving Championships after making the cut of 12 finalists in March 1976, qualifying for the men’s NCAA Division III Championship.

An active member of the campus community, Shuman played in the orchestra and also coached the Brunswick High School girl’s diving program. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in art history and earned herMBA at Yale. Her strong leadership and commitment to Bowdoin has followed Ellen into her alumni years as she has served as former president of the Alumni Council and former vice chair and current member of the Board of Trustees.