Meet the Parents: Craig and Nancy Guiffre P’14 and the Enduring Appeal of the Parents Executive CommitteeBy Bowdoin News
The Parents Executive Committee (PEC) is made up of parents of current students, parents of graduates, and even grandparents who volunteer to support the Parents Fund and the college community. The success of the Parents Fund is a direct result of its committed volunteers.
Craig and Nancy Guiffre P’14, from Scotch Plains, NJ, parents of Taylor Guiffre ’14, have been involved with the PEC for fifteen years and take “The Offer of the College” to heart.
What drew you to become involved with the Parents Executive Committee?
Three things really stand out as we look back at the last fifteen years, starting from our very first visit to Bowdoin: The hope of making a positive impact for students and faculty; the desire to give back to the College in return for the wonderful experiences we’ve all had, most importantly for our daughter, Taylor, and as parents who’ve had so many opportunities to be engaged with Bowdoin in many different ways; and, the incredibly supportive and welcoming parents and staff from the PEC, the Parents’ Fund, and Parent Leadership Giving, who work tirelessly on behalf of the College, students, faculty, administration, families, and all those who support students.
Given your many other priorities, why have you made time over the past ten years to continue to volunteer with the PEC?
We’re both engaged with other groups, and Craig has served as a trustee on the boards of several nonprofits. They are all staffed by wonderfully caring and giving people who are passionate about what they do. What makes the Parents Executive Committee so special and so important to us is the direct impact it has had on our family. When we were visiting colleges, Taylor had two rounds of trips because she often accompanied us on visits to schools her older brother was considering. It was clear from our Bowdoin visit that this was the place where not only could she see herself as a student, but where she could feel as though she belonged. We hope that every student, current and prospective, can feel that way.
Why is it important to you to support Bowdoin in this way?
How can Bowdoin reach even more prospective students? How can the liberal arts continue to be a great stepping stone to so many academic and professional endeavors, including STEM careers? How can “The Offer of the College,” especially the phrase “and cooperate with others for common ends“ be made more real? We know the offer was intended for students, but we believe it includes the entire Bowdoin community, and the PEC is a perfect focal point to address these issues, because word of mouth is a powerful way to spread the word about Bowdoin and all NESCAC schools who share so many common ideals. Parents, family members, guardians, and anyone who has an influence on a child’s life are the most powerful tools we have to share these ideals. If you have time, give time, if you have passion, give passion. If you can support Bowdoin financially, do that too, because it’s an important part of how we all support the students and faculty. You find your own ways to contribute, and this is the best way for us.
What advice you would give to new Bowdoin parents?
Enjoy your student’s time at Bowdoin. Visit if you are able, read the Orient, read the emails you will receive. Most of all, recognize that this is likely the most wonderful adventure your student will have had, and they will make lifelong friends. Your engagement and support are very important, but your ability to enjoy and celebrate their experience is critical. Go U Bears!