Campus News

Bowdoin Gears Up for 7th Annual Common Good Day

Story posted August 12, 2005

Activities during Common Good Day 2004 included grounds work for the Town of Brunswick...

More than 400 Bowdoin College students, employees, alumni, and friends will take to the greater Brunswick and Portland communities for an afternoon of service for Bowdoin's 7th annual Common Good Day, Saturday, September 17.

Teams of Bowdoin volunteers will spend three 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 is an event which introduces Bowdoin students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to a wide variety of volunteer opportunities and community partnerships that they may have not previously been familiar with," says Megan MacLennan '07, a student fellow who has planned much of this year's event. "By holding Common Good Day early in the school year, students are able to get their feet wet in the community and explore what organizations they may be interested in becoming further involved with over the years. Through Common Good Day, we hope to instill in students a commitment to public service throughout their time at Bowdoin and beyond."

...working with children...

Volunteerism occupies an important place in the lives of many Bowdoin students, right alongside attending classes and participating in athletics and other extracurricular activities. In fact, 70 percent of all Bowdoin students participate in community service at some point during their college careers, with volunteers donating 16,000 hour of service in one year alone.

"Common Good Day is an important cornerstone of the academic year," explains Christopher Knight '07, an active participant in many of Bowdoin's community service programs. "The entire campus: students, faculty, staff, friends, and alumni join together in united service to the Common Good."

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."

...and visiting with seniors.

Members of the community are also invited to participate in Bowdoin College's Common Good Day. For more information contact Megan MacLennan '07, the Common Good Day Fellow, at or (207) 798-4236.

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