Published March 16, 2022 by Rebecca Goldfine

A Bowdoin Tradition: Celebrating Exceptional Students For Generosity of Spirit

At the end of every academic year, Bowdoin presents extracurricular awards to a handful of students in recognition of their leadership abilities and their contributions to the common good.
McKeen awards

By mid-March or thereabouts, members of the Bowdoin community—faculty, staff, and students—are invited to nominate people they believe should be honored for their work helping others and improving the community. (For one award, however, students are invited to apply by submitting an essay.) Some of the prizes come with monetary awards.

The McKeen Center for the Common Good presents several awards that focus on serviceThe Lydia Bell Award for Initiative in Public Service; The Bowdoin Spirit of Service Award; The Dunlap Prize; and The Henni and Harry Friedlander Student Prize.

The president of the College presents awards recognizing leadership, including the President's Award, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Cup, the Michael F. Micciche III Award, and the Andrew Allison Haldane Cup. 

Read the full list of Bowdoin prizes.

Last year's McKeen Center awardees, with President Clayton Rose.
Last year's McKeen Center awardees, with President Clayton Rose.

General R.H. Dunlap Prize

Katherine Wood Dunlap established this prize, which comes with $1,150, in memory of her husband, Brigadier General Robert H. Dunlap, USMC.  Every spring, it is awarded to one or two Bowdoin seniors based on two criteria: the level of commitment to service the student has demonstrated while at Bowdoin, and the strength of the essay the student submits on the subject of service. The essay prompt asks students to express their philosophy of community engagement, as informed by their experiences as a Bowdoin student, rather than just recounting what they have done.

The Lydia Bell Award for Initiative in Public Service

The Lydia Bell Award is presented annually to a Bowdoin student who exhibits the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment necessary to initiate and lead opportunities for others to effect change, influencing the Bowdoin culture in the process.

The Bowdoin Spirit of Service Award

The Bowdoin Spirit of Service Award is presented annually to a Bowdoin senior who embraces such a commitment to improving the lives of others through service that their life speaks strongly, even though they may remain humbly quiet. (This award is also presented annually to a community member.)

The Henni and Harry Friedlander Student Prize 

The Friedlander prize was established in honor of Henni Friedlander, who survived Nazi Germany to immigrate to the United States, where she was an inspiring example of how joy of life, rather than hatred and bitterness, can lift the human spirit and enable us as a society to promote the common good. It is awarded to a Bowdoin undergraduate who has overcome adversity in his or her own life and gone on to contribute to the common good.
Last year's leadership awardees
Last year's leadership awardees: Love Avril Jr. ’22, Chanel Matthews ’21, Ryan Telingator ’21, and Kendall Rogers ’21

President's Award

Inaugurated in 1997 by Bowdoin President Robert H. Edwards, the President’s Award recognizes a student’s exceptional personal achievements and uncommon contributions to the College. The student’s actions demonstrate particular courage, imagination, and generosity of spirit; and they benefit the atmosphere, program, or general effectiveness of the College.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Cup

Furnished by the Bowdoin chapter of Alpha Delta Phi Society, this cup is awarded to a first-year, sophomore, or junior whose vision, humanity, and courage most contribute to making Bowdoin a better college. A committee of Bowdoin alumni selects the awardee based on a faculty or staff nomination.

The Michael F. Micciche III Award

This award is given annually to a senior who embodies the entire Bowdoin experience; who engages the College community, achieves academic excellence, and earns the respect of his or her peers and professors. This individual must plan on broadening his or her education following graduation, either through enrollment at a graduate school or through a structured travel or volunteer program.

The Andrew Allison Haldane Cup

The Haldane Cup is given by fellow officers in the Pacific in memory of Captain Andrew Allison Haldane, United States Marine Corps Reserves, of the Class of 1941, is awarded to a member of the senior class who has outstanding qualities of leadership and character.