Wil Smith '00 and his daughter, Olivia. Photo: StoryCorps.
The inspiring story of Wil Smith ’00 coming to Bowdoin as a single father in 1996 at the age of 27 was shared on NPR’s Morning Edition Friday and is archived among the conversations between loved ones recorded by StoryCorps. Smith and his now teenage daughter Olivia speak of those years together at the College, and how, through his struggle to meet the demands of their lives, he need only look to her for inspiration.
“My graduation day from Bowdoin is a day I’ll never forget,” says Smith in the piece. “You know, all of my classmates, they stood up and gave me the only standing ovation.” Smith would go on to work at the College for 10 years, becoming Bowdoin’s associate dean of multicultural student programs, before leaving in 2010 to become the dean of community life and multicultural affairs at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., where he also coaches girls’ basketball and softball. Listen to the NPR/StoryCorps recording of Wil Smith ’00 and his daughter.
Two Bowdoin alumnae comprise the staff of The Voss Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to increase access to clean water and sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Voss is a small operation with a big impact, assisting more than 100,000 people in five countries gain access to clean water through its projects since 2008. One of the organization’s signature fundraising events is the Women Helping Women gathering in Boston Wednesday, June 20, an evening that celebrates global female cooperation and highlights the fact that the burden of retrieving water falls primarily on women.
The Bowdoin connection at Voss extends deep. Along with executive director Kara Gerson ’04 and program assistant Kathleen Yaworsky ’09, Nora Dowley ’04 and Kate Lubin Sutton ’01 are on the planning committee for the Boston event (and committee member Elisabeth Lind Jones is married to Josh Jones ’04). Additional Bowdoin alumni lent their support by attending last year’s Women Helping Women gathering in Boston, including Michael Dowley ’00, Hillary Fitzpatrick Peterson ’04, Ben Peterson ’04, Jason Hafler ’04 and Josh Jones ’04.
“We hope to see even more this year!” says Yaworsky.
Five outstanding Bowdoin employees have been named 2012 Polar Star Award winners. President Barry Mills presented the awards at the Campus Picnic Thursday, June 14.
Nominations from faculty, staff, students, trustees and alumni poured in, singling out 52 individuals for excellence in the areas of commitment, customer service, innovation, leadership, and teamwork.
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