Story posted September 18, 2012
Nearly 500 students, alumni, faculty and staff and their families have made Bowdoin's 14th Annual Common Good Day a tremendous success! On Saturday September 15, 2012, volunteers lent their time and energy in nearly 60 service projects, spanning from Auburn to South Portland -- with some participants as close as Lancaster Garden behind the Asian Studies building. In eight cities across the country, another 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 and the Bowdoin polar bear. Before disembarking to their service sites, the volunteers heard from Luke Mondello, Assistant Director for the McKeen Center, who thanked volunteers, community partners, and the many departments around campus that make the day possible.
Common Good Day Fellow Melanie Gaynes '13 then spoke to the spirit of Common Good Day, reminding the audience that the event "is about more than a single day of service. It marks the beginning of a year in which Bowdoin students will complete over 50,000 hours of service." Gaynes was followed by President Barry Mills, who spoke of Common Good Day as an embodiment of Bowdoin's commitment to the common good. Transportation Coordinator Micah Ludwig '13 then sent the groups off to their servie sites. Once there, teams of volunteers spent three hours working on various projects for over 50 local non-profit and municipal organizations.
Thank you to all who volunteered for Common Good Day 2012! Be sure to check out the Bowdoin Daily Sun's Common Good Day slideshow of some of the day's projects.
If you would like to find other ways to participate in service at Bowdoin, please visit the McKeen Center in Banister Hall at the back of the chapel.