Kenneth E. Legins, Jr. ’92


Citation for Kenneth E. Legins, Jr., 2006 Common Good Award recipient.

"Kenneth E. Legins, Jr., of the Class of 1992, you have spent nearly half the years of your life as an advocate for the some of the most vulnerable members of the global community.  Your work has exhibited the utmost care and compassion for thousands of people around the world who are often relegated to the outermost margins of society.  The distances you have traveled and the populations you have engaged indicate a remarkable commitment to the Common Good.

Coming to Bowdoin from Stearns High School in Millinocket, Maine, and completing a double major in biology and sociology, you established yourself as a leader during your time at Bowdoin.  You volunteered your time at the Brunswick Hospice Center and at the Maine Juvenile Delinquent Center in Portland, and in 1990 you were one of the founders of Safe Space -- an organization that has not only persevered on campus but has thrived, engaging dozens of students each year who serve as a support system for victims of sexual harassment and sexual abuse.

Your professors and mentors at Bowdoin recall your great interest in serving the Common Good.  As a student it was clear that you were “thinking about science as a way to improve people’s lives.”  One professor recalls being impressed that “a kid from the middle of Maine” could possess such passion for tackling some of our society’s most difficult issues.

After earning your Master of Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine, your dedication to those most in need of help has led you across America and across the world.  You have been an HIV/AIDS counselor in inner-city Atlanta and have counseled HIV-positive inmates in Connecticut prisons; you have worked toward treating and preventing tuberculosis in the immigrant population in New York; you have traveled to Russia and other parts of eastern Europe to assist children living with or orphaned by AIDS and worked with refugee women and children in Albania during the war in the Balkans; and you are now the Chief of UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS Programme in the world’s most populous country, the People’s Republic of China.  Those who know you recognize that your work is “so much more than just a job.”

Kenneth E. Legins, Jr., for your fearless and selfless endeavors to serve those who might otherwise be forgotten, we are proud to present you with the 2006 Common Good Award."