Story posted October 04, 2010
On Saturday, September 25, 2010, approximately 500 Bowdoin College students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends descended on Farley Field House before fanning out to various service projects in the greater Brunswick and Portland communities for Bowdoin’s 12th annual Common Good Day. In eight cities across the country, an additional 200 alumni took part in Common Good Day projects coordinated by Alumni Relations.
Launched in 1999, this event was inspired by the 1802 inaugural address of Bowdoin’s first president, Joseph McKeen, who stated: “It ought always to be remembered that literary institutions are founded and endowed for the Common Good, and not for the private advantage of those who resort to them for education.” Common Good Day provides the largest single-day opportunity for Bowdoin students to live out Joseph McKeen’s words.
At Bowdoin, volunteers had a chance to eat lunch while being entertained by the Taiko drumming group, duo Jamie Cohen '11 and Maryellen Hearn '11, and the Bowdoin polar bear. Before dispersing for their projects, the volunteers heard from Sarah Seames, Interim Director of the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, who took the opportunity to remember and celebrate the life of Sig Knudsen and his years spent serving the Brunswick community.
Common Good Day Fellow Caitlin Callahan '11 then thanked the volunteers before introducing the community speaker, Jamie Silvestri, the Artistic Director of ArtVan. Jamie spoke of the importance of the connection between Bowdoin and the community. Joelinda Coichy '11, in her third year as Common Good Day transportation coordinator, then sent the groups off to their projects. Once at their sites, teams of volunteers spent three hours working on various projects for nearly 60 local non-profit and municipal organizations.
"It was a tremendous success," said Sarah Seames who worked with students to organize the day. "Volunteers were cleaning the kitchen at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, sorting donated items at Preble Street, clearing trails at Bradbury Mountain State Park, walking dogs at the Coastal Humane Society and painting at Merrymeeting Adult Education, to name a few."
Thank you to all who volunteered for Common Good Day 2010!
If you would like to find other ways to participate in service at Bowdoin, please visit the McKeen Center, or stop by - we are located in Banister Hall (the chapel).