Fifty seniors met their first-year advisees on February 2nd, 2012 to kick-off the Generous Enthusiasts, a new mentoring program created by Anna Ackerman '12 and Laura Armstrong '12. The program, co-sponsored by ResLife and the Dean of First-Year students, pairs first-years and seniors based on common interests, such as their majors, to provide first-years with a friendly guide to Bowdoin. (The name comes from the two lines in the college’s promise: “To lose yourself in generous enthusiasms/And cooperate with others for common ends….”)
Senior and junior "Genthusiasts" were recruited for their mentoring qualities and attended a training “to help them think about where mid-semester first-years are and brainstorm ways to help them stretch a bit this spring,” said Mary Pat McMahon, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residential Life. From January through May, the senior/first-year pairs met three or four times through official "Generous Enthusiast" events and were encouraged to find other opportunities to learn about one another outside of the program. Over meals, while attending sports events and campus speakers, or while walking downtown, Genthusiast pairs found common ground and the chance to reflect on how to make the most of life at Bowdoin.
Plans are in the works to offer the Generous Enthusiasts program again in Spring 2013.