Greetings for the State

By Anna Cox '24

Greetings from Maine

Thank you to everyone who traveled from near and far today to celebrate the class of 2024. My name is Anna, and I am honored to extend warm greetings from my home state, Maine. 

Maine is beautiful, with a tidal coastline of 3,478 miles! Just like the tide pools along our long rocky coast, Maine is filled with little treasures. Some treasures that are loved amongst Bowdoin students include Simpson’s Point, The Giant Stairs, and Sewell Pond. 

While I could go on and on about how picture-perfect Maine is, what I find so special about Maine is the people we call Mainers.

The people of Maine are resilient. The “spring” semesters we have recently experienced at Bowdoin are just a taste of the nor’easters and ice storms that don’t seem to discourage Mainers from sticking around year after year. Despite the power company’s best efforts, Mainers are often left without power for as long as a week at a time. When my house loses power, I don’t hear complaints from my family: just “where are the candles” and “don’t flush the toilet.” No matter what comes their way, Mainers can always weather the metaphorical or literal storm. 

The people of Maine are selfless. Neighbors are happy to help clear trees from the road, fix leaky roofs, and shovel driveways, with no expectation of anything in return. You often don’t even have to ask; neighbors just show up, ready to help. If you’re lucky like me, they might come bearing gifts from their vegetable gardens. Always willing to lend a helping hand—or chainsaw—Mainers are the people you can count on in any situation.

The people of Maine are “stubborn,” at least, according to my friend from Maine. When she said this, we laughed before agreeing that the term “determined” is a more flattering alternative. Maine is filled with hard workers: farmers whose days are long, small business owners who wear many hats, and fishermen who made it possible for a lobster to be on your plate just last night. Mainers always see a project through. 

Over these last four years, the Class of 2024 has faced great challenges. These challenges have only helped us to grow into better people. The pandemic made us resilient. Because we only had each other during our first semester, we learned to be selfless and support one another. We have been determined—and, yes, maybe stubborn—in our pursuit to make the best of our education under any circumstances. 

To my classmates: congratulations on everything each of you has accomplished during your time here. As you take this next step in your lives, remember these qualities you learned in Maine. They are part of you now; use them for the common good. I am proud to call all of you my peers. Be proud to call yourself a “Mainer.”