Leading for the Common Good

Learn about service and leadership at Bowdoin, as well as the many ways to contribute to the common good beyond Bowdoin.

The Leading for the Common Good series brings together first-year Bowdoin students of various backgrounds to discuss the meaning of the common good and find common ground and knowledge amidst our different beliefs and experiences. The series provides students with the opportunity to meet regularly with peers and explore the intersection of service, leadership, ethics, and the common good. Discussions may include topics such as power dynamics of “helping,” race and community engagement, and conscious social change. Students will learn skills integral to navigating communities at Bowdoin and beyond as active leaders for the common good and meet with alumni and community members who will share their experiences in government, nonprofit leadership, activism, and other areas related to the pursuit of the common good.

Weekly sessions will be virtual, with some additional in-person components for students living on campus.  This series is facilitated by McKeen Center Director Sarah Seames.

Leading for Common Good Students
Leading for Common Good Students

Past Speakers and activities have included:

  • Trustee and alumna Dr. Shelley Hearne '83, a leader in public health and visiting professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health;
  • An affordable housing panel featuring Mark Swann ’84 of Preble Street, Cito Selinger '81 of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, Bill Shanahan ’74 of the Northern New England Housing Investment Fund (NNEHIF), and Matt Peters '04 of Avesta Housing;
  • Recent alumnae Monica Bouyea '14 of Family Crisis Services and Adrienne Chistolini '15 of Bank of America’s community engagement initiative;
  • The Giving Games, a program of The Life You Can Save. This is a facilitated activity that teaches about philanthropy and the ways to give most effectively where participants will think about their own personal criteria for giving and learn how to channel their own future donations to where they will do the most good;
  • A group service project, where participants will have the opportunity to work directly with a local Brunswick organization. The day, which will fall on a weekend, will also include group discussions on how to design and lead meaningful service opportunities, create reciprocal partnerships, and facilitate educational reflection activities.