Story posted September 04, 2008
Have questions about the McKeen Center? Learn more about the center's missions, programs, and goals.
Have Community Service Resource Center (CSRC) programs been folded into the McKeen Center?
Yes. The McKeen Center provides financial endowment for many current community service programs while offering new programs and connections. It also offers a new direction for fulfilling Joseph McKeen's vision, which was offered in his 1802 inaugural address.
How does the McKeen Center differ from the CSRC?
The McKeen Center houses all former CSRC programming, including volunteer programs, annual events, leadership development programs, and support for service-learning courses. The McKeen Center strengthens these programs by providing a secure financial endowment. In addition, the new center provides cross-campus connections for community engagement and opens new pathways to community-based research and community-based teaching.
Is the McKeen Center a building?
The McKeen Center is located in Banister Hall, which is the office space connected to the Chapel. However, the center's concept expands beyond any single physical space, as it offers the resources to connect people and projects across campus and throughout our local, state, national, and international communities.
I am a first-year student. How do I become involved in McKeen Center projects?
The College offers myriad possibilities for participation in community service programs and community-based academic work. When choosing courses, look for service learning courses; these courses offer a community-based component. Attend our annual Volunteer Fair in on September 4, where you can learn about and enroll in nearly 30 student-run volunteer organizations. Or stop by the the center's offices in Banister Hall and speak with a member of the staff. If the College doesn't offer what you are looking for, the center can help you create your own opportunity.
How are students involved in the McKeen Center's leadership?
Student initiative drives every facet of the McKeen Center's operations and leadership. A group of seniors serve as Joseph P. McKeen Fellows for Leadership in Public Engagement; these students coordinate many of our programs and advise the director and senior faculty fellow on management of the center. Nearly all of our volunteer programs were created by students who saw a community need and wanted to fill it. In addition, Alternative Spring Break trips are proposed and led by upperclass students; programs are overseen by the presidents of the Community Service Council; and service learning fellows provide logistical and planning support for each service learning course. In all, students provide some 40,000 hours of direct service to the community each year.
What is the relationship of the faculty with the McKeen Center?
In partnership with the McKeen Center, interested faculty are creating a place for community-based teaching and community-based research to flourish. In addition, the public engagement of faculty through other means is equally essential for fostering a campus culture of engagement.
The center is developing partnerships and events to meet these goals. The McKeen Center will identify several academic departments each year to think through and develop deeper levels of community engagement. Other plans include an expansion of community-based independent study and honors projects and events organized by the center and cross-disciplinary groups of faculty.
The faculty are represented in the McKeen Center leadership through the senior faculty fellow and three faculty fellows.
What special events will inaugurate the McKeen Center?
The McKeen's Center inaugural week, which will be held September 19 to 26, will include the 10th-annual Common Good Day and numerous special events. The events will offer students, faculty, staff, and community members to consider the meaning of the common good and their own relationship with it. Please click here to see the schedule.
Where does funding come from?
The McKeen Center has been funded by generous donations through The Bowdoin Campaign.
I've heard that "literary institutions are founded for the common good," but I want to dig deeper into McKeen's meaning. Can you provide me the text of his speech?
Of course! Click here to read his 1802 address in full. (Courtesy: Bowdoin College Archives.)
The center's concept expands beyond any single physical space, as it offers the resources to connect people and projects across campus and throughout our local, state, national, and international communities.