Campus News

Bowdoin Gears Up for 8th Annual Common Good Day

Story posted September 06, 2006

Sign up for Common Good Day here.

More than 500 Bowdoin College students, employees, alumni, and friends will take to the greater Brunswick and Portland communities for an afternoon of service for Bowdoin's 8th annual Common Good Day, Saturday, September 16.

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.

"This will be my fourth year being involved with Common Good Day. I look forward to it every year," said Lisa Peterson '07, co-president of the Community Service Council and active participant in community service. "It's amazing to see how many people participate. I think its appeal is that not only are groups serving the common good, but they're also sharing a common experience. Common Good Day brings together people from different backgrounds and unites them under a desire to help others. I don't think any other event represents the spirit and the mission of Bowdoin as well as this day of service."

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 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.

Community service is a part of the lives of 70 percent of all Bowdoin students.

"As college students, we have the energy, intelligence, and talent that enable us really to make a difference as volunteers in the Brunswick community," said Z-Z Cowen '08, Common Good Day fellow. "I hope that participating in Common Good Day will inspire volunteers to consider undertaking long-term service opportunities. Though Common Good Day lasts only a few hours, it can serve as a great jumping off point for the rest of the year - or even for four years!"

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."

"Working for the Common Good is such a central part of life at Bowdoin and, on Common Good Day, that community consciousness is especially apparent," added Cowen. "In working together, volunteers not only enhance the quality of life for people in the Mid Coast region but also strengthen the sense of community that exists among students, faculty, and staff on campus."

For more information contact Z-Z Cowen '08, at or 207-798-4194.

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