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Frequently Asked Questions

McKeen CenterHave 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 currentcommunity 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, includingvolunteer programs, annual events, leadership development programs, andsupport for service-learning courses. The McKeen Center strengthensthese programs by providing a secure financial endowment. In addition,the new center provides cross-campus connections for communityengagement and opens new pathways to community-based research andcommunity-based teaching.

Is the McKeen Center a building?

The McKeen Center is located in Banister Hall, which is the officespace connected to the Chapel. However, the center's concept expandsbeyond any single physical space, as it offers the resources to connectpeople 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 incommunity service programs and community-based academic work. Whenchoosing courses, look for service learning courses; thesecourses offer a community-based component. Attend our annual VolunteerFair in September, where you can learn about and enroll in nearly30 student-run volunteer organizations. Or stop by the the center'soffices in Banister Hall and speak with a member of the staff. If theCollege doesn't offer what you are looking for, the center can help youcreate your own opportunity.

How are students involved in the McKeen Center's leadership?

Student initiative drives every facet of the McKeen Center'soperations and leadership. A group of seniors serve as Joseph P. McKeenFellows for Leadership in Public Engagement; these students coordinatemany of our programs and advise the director and senior faculty fellowon management of the center. Nearly all of our volunteer programs werecreated by students who saw a community need and wanted to fill it. Inaddition, Alternative Spring Break trips are proposed and led byupperclass students; programs are overseen by the presidents of theCommunity Service Council; and service learning fellows providelogistical and planning support for each service learning course. Inall, students provide some 40,000 hours of direct service to thecommunity each year.

What is the relationship of the faculty with the McKeen Center?

In partnership with the McKeen Center, interested faculty arecreating a place for community-based teaching and community-basedresearch to flourish. In addition, the public engagement of facultythrough other means is equally essential for fostering a campus cultureof engagement.

The center is developing partnerships and events to meet thesegoals. The McKeen Center will identify several academic departmentseach year to think through and develop deeper levels of communityengagement. Other plans include an expansion of community-basedindependent study and honors projects and events organized by thecenter 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 inaugurated the McKeen Center?

The McKeen Center's inaugural week, which was held September 19to 26, included the 10th-annual Common Good Day and numerousspecial events. The events offered students, faculty, staff, andcommunity members the opportunity to consider the meaning of the common good and theirown 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 commongood," but I want to dig deeper into McKeen's meaning. Can you provideme the text of his speech?

Of course! Click here to read his 1802 address in full. (Courtesy: Bowdoin College Archives.)