Campus News

Bowdoin Gears Up for Fifth Annual Common Good Day

Story posted August 13, 2003

On Saturday, October 4, hundreds of Bowdoin students, employees, alumni and friends will take to the greater Brunswick and Portland communities for an afternoon of service in celebration of Bowdoin's fifth annual Common Good Day.

Teams of Bowdoin volunteers will spend four hours working on various projects for local non-profit and municipal organizations. The projects include gardening at Curtis Memorial Library and Bayview Heights, an affordable senior housing facility; apple picking with individuals served by the Learning Center, a project of Independence Association; visiting with residents at Amenity Manor; setting up an outdoor tent at Maine Fiberarts; and cleaning, painting, wallpapering and doing yard work for such organizations as the Ronald McDonald House, Sweetser, the Tedford Shelter, Harbor Children's Center, and Dionne Commons.

"Common Good Day introduces students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to lots of different local volunteer opportunities and the many community partnerships that may not otherwise be familiar to them," says Caitlin MacDonald, a 2001 Bowdoin graduate who now works as an Americorps*VISTA at the College's Community Service Resource Center. "By holding the event early in the school year, we hope to instill in students a commitment to public service throughout their time at Bowdoin and beyond."

Volunteerism occupies an important place in the lives of many Bowdoin students right alongside attending classes and participating in athletics and other extracurricular activities. Seventy percent of all students participate in community service at some point during their Bowdoin careers.

Common Good Day has been a popular event for many Bowdoin students throughout the years. According to Kate Leach '04, the Community Service Resource Center intern who has planned much of this year's event, "I've been participating in Common Good Day since my first year at Bowdoin. It's definitely a great way to meet new people and learn about service opportunities in the community."

Launched in 1999, Bowdoin College's Common Good Day takes its name from one of the College's guiding principles, as stated by Joseph McKeen, Bowdoin's first president, in his 1802 inaugural address: "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."

For more information about Common Good Day, contact Kate Leach ( at 798-4156 or Caitlin MacDonald ( at 798-4133.

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