Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Common Good Day 2011: Thank You Volunteers!

Story posted September 02, 2011

On Saturday, September 17, 2011, over 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 13th annual Common Good Day. In seven cities across the country, an additional 130 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, the all-female a cappella group Miscellania, and the Bowdoin polar bear. Before dispersing for their projects, the volunteers heard from Caitlin Callahan, Assistant Director for Student Community Service, who thanked the volunteers and talked about how alumni projects were happening across the country in conjunction with the Bowdoin Common Good Day.

Common Good Day Fellow Aileen Tschiderer '12 then thanked the volunteers before introducing the community speaker, Claude Rwaganje, founder and executive director of Community Financial Literacy. Claude spoke of the importance of engaging in community service, regardless of one's motivation for participating in service, and expressed his appreciation for the work Bowdoin students do to help small non-profits in Maine.  Transportation Coordinator Micah Ludwig '13 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. 

Thank you to all who volunteered for Common Good Day 2011!

The Bowdoin Daily Sun posted pictures from some of the local service projects.

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).

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