BRUNSWICK — Former Bowdoin College President A. LeRoy Greason, a 38-year Bowdoin staffer, died this morning at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick.

He was 88.

In a statement on Bowdoin’s website, current President Barry Mills called Greason “a dedicated educator and gifted leader.”

“During his 10-year presidency, he expanded and strengthened academic offerings, increased the size and diversity of the faculty and established strong ties between the College, alumni and the community,” wrote MIlls. “His greatest gift was his ability to find common ground among disparate people and to inspire them to work together.”

Greason started working at Bowdoin in 1952 as an English instructor and became a full professor in 1966. He later moved into administrative jobs, including dean of students and dean of the college.
Greason was named acting president of Bowdoin around 1980 and president in 1981.

During his time at the helm, Greason strengthened the school’s liberal arts curriculum, improving environmental, arctic, Asian and computer programs, said Mills’ statement. Greason also worked to improve first-year students’ writing skills.

Under Greason’s lead, the school added $15 million to its scholarship endowment, doubled the alumni fund, constructed a new athletic facility and began construction of the new Hatch Science Library.

Greason, who retired in 1990, was also active in the education community outside Bowdoin. He was secretary and treasurer of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, chair of the Brunswick School Committee and trustee of the Hyde Schools. He also worked with the University of New England, the Portland State Company, the Maine Historical Society, Maine Public Broadcasting Network and the Bath-Brunswick Area Mental Health Association.

In addition, Greason was chair of the Maine governor’s advisory commissions on mental health and teacher certification.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard University.

Greason was born in 1922 in Newport, R.I., and grew up in Wellesley, Mass.