Campus News

Bowdoin College Honored for United Way Campaign Efforts

Story posted February 05, 2001

For the third year in a row, Bowdoin College has received the Education Division Award from the United Way of Mid Coast Maine. In its recent campaign, the United Way topped the $2 million mark for the first time ever, with Bowdoin’s support for the year 2000 reaching an all-time high of $52,857.

The award was presented by campaign chairman John Portela at the campaign finale held Tuesday, January 30. "Bowdoin College, under Randy Shaw, Peggy Schick-Luke, and co-chair campaign managers Mary Lou Kennedy, Sue Theberge, and Adam Levy, continues to conduct a superb United Way campaign," said Portela. "Bowdoin made an all-out effort again this year. This year the campaign grew by an incredible 14% over last year, and passed a very significant milestone: breaking the $50,00 mark for United Way. Bowdoin College is our second biggest local campaign

Though the Campaign lasts only a few short weeks, Bowdoin’s success was the result of months of planning and preparation. The campus’ three co-chairs—Mary Lou Kennedy, director of dining service (representing administrative staff), Adam Levy, associate professor of mathematics (faculty) and Sue Theberge, academic department coordinator, math and computer science (support staff) agreed to co-chair the 2000 campaign back in May, and began the organizational process in June. By mid-September they had enlisted 55 campus volunteers representing nearly every academic and administrative department. The result was extraordinary, as faculty and staff participation climbed to its highest level in recent memory: an impressive 45%. Bowdoin College’s contribution has grown by 55.7% over the past five years.

"Bowdoin is honored to receive United Way’s Education Division Award," said Randy Shaw, director of capital giving and United Way Campaign coordinator. "This special recognition underscores the College’s commitment to the community, and is a testament to the dedication of workplace campaign co-chairs Mary Lou Kennedy, Sue Theberge, and Adam Levy, the 55 campus volunteers who worked so hard to make this year’s campaign a success, the inspirational leadership of Bob and Blythe Edwards, and the overwhelming generosity of the Bowdoin family. Bowdoin should be a leader in this effort, and thanks to this wonderful show of support, we are."

The United Way funds 38 local agencies that help children and families respond to emergencies, assist the elderly, and promote physical and mental health. It is estimated that services provided by the United Way agencies help one out of every three people in the Mid Coast region. Over 52,000 people are helped in the following areas: Brunswick/Harpswell, Topsham, Northern Sagadahoc County, Bath area, Eastern Sagadahoc County, Wiscasset area, Damariscotta, Boothbay area, Northern Lincoln County, and Knox County.

"I also want to give a special thank you to Blythe Edwards, for her leadership on the United Way Board, and to President Bob Edwards," Portela said during the campaign finale. "Under his tenure, and because of his strong personal leadership and support, over the last six years the Bowdoin employee campaign for United Way has more than doubled. Thank you, Bowdoin!"

A quilt made up of sections created by the participating United Way business community members inspired the design of the Division Award presented to Bowdoin. Like the quilt, the plaque celebrates "The Fabric of Our Community."

During the United Way Campaign, Bowdoin simultaneously runs a campaign for MaineShare, which serves 30 agencies throughout the state supporting human development, the environment, health care and the arts. During the campaign, the Bowdoin family raised an additional $23,332 for MaineShare.

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