The Friends Fund provides an opportunity for community members to express their support of Bowdoin's world-class liberal arts education.
Gifts to the Friends Fund are critical in helping Bowdoin maintain and enhance academic, artistic, athletic, and creative opportunities to which both current and future generations of students and community members will have access. Support of the Fund demonstrates a commitment to the liberal arts education and unique experiences that Bowdoin provides.
There are nine designations in the Friends Fund to direct support:
- Greatest Need: As the last few years have underscored, Bowdoin’s needs change – sometimes dramatically – from year to year. Gifts to this designation are unrestricted and forward-looking: they provide the College with the flexibility to meet new needs as they arise, and they offer a vote of confidence in the College’s direction.
- Academics: Gifts to this designation support the core of the Bowdoin experience: the rigorous and highly personal education that make the College exceptional. These gifts support teaching, faculty scholarship, student research, classroom technology, and the libraries – and they promote the connection between devoted faculty and talented students that is Bowdoin’s hallmark.
- Arts & Culture: Gifts to this designation support the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, as well as the many theater and dance performances, concerts, student exhibitions, and lectures on campus. These gifts provide vibrancy and culture to the Bowdoin community and offer students the opportunity to express themselves creatively and to appreciate the arts.
- Comprehensive Aid: A critical From Here campaign priority, comprehensive aid ensures that all students have access to the full range of the College’s academic and student life offerings. Gifts to this designation provide academic technology such as laptops and iPads, course materials, internships and fellowships, and support Bowdoin Outing Club trips, study abroad, and other activities. Some students may struggle to afford a new pair of glasses or a warm coat or winter boots; gifts designated for comprehensive aid remove these economic barriers to fully participating in campus life.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives: Gifts to this designation affect every student, faculty member, and staff person at Bowdoin, and reach every corner of campus. They enable the Center for Multicultural Life to program inclusive student events and bring diverse speakers to campus. They move the campus forward through trainings such as A Groundwater Approach to Racial Equity, conducted by the Racial Equity Institute, and campus-wide initiatives, like DEI Partners, that promote introspection and collaboration.
- Environmental Stewardship: Through their support for programming, green initiatives, and upgrades to campus facilities, gifts to this designation help Bowdoin toward its goals of maintaining carbon neutrality, promoting sustainability, and involving students in pro-environmental efforts. These gifts support waste reduction through initiatives that include the Composite and Food Waste Program, Zero Sort Recycling Program, and Give and Go Program, and make it possible for the College to prioritize energy-use reduction by incorporating the LEED or Passive House Design process into all new buildings.
- Financial Aid: Bowdoin’s endowment, while impressive, only provides a portion of the funding required for financial aid. Annual gifts to this designation make it possible for Bowdoin to remain one of only twenty colleges in the US that admit students on a need-blind basis and offer no-loan aid that covers full demonstrated need. Student need and the percentage of students on aid at Bowdoin continue to increase – and with a recent change in policy that offers greater financial assistance, including aid to middle-income students, need will continue to increase. Annual gifts for financial aid are critically important to enable Bowdoin to keep this core promise of access to students and families.
- Health & Wellness: An important aspect of Bowdoin’s residential model is ensuring the health and wellness of all students during their transformative, and sometimes challenging, time on campus. Gifts to this designation help students meet those challenges and learn essential skills to ensure that they know when to take a break, when to ask for assistance, how to best support and be supported by others, how to manage the unexpected, and how to tolerate distress. These gifts will also be utilized to help students access resources for their health and wellness so that they can find success in the classroom and beyond. They provide for religious and spiritual life; the Counseling Center; the Coe Health Center; gender violence prevention; and peer health and health education.
- Student Life: Gifts to this designation support the rich, varied, and life-changing cocurricular opportunities that define the Bowdoin student experience outside the classroom. These gifts provide for over 200 student clubs; many enriching activities such as lectures, intramural sports, and student performances; alternative break service trips and other programs of the McKeen Center for the Common Good; and campus hubs like Sexuality, Women, and Gender Center (SWAG).