Bowdoin College Announces $500M Fundraising Campaign With Three Core Promises

BRUNSWICK, ME – Bowdoin College has announced the public phase of the largest fundraising campaign in its 225-year history, with a goal of raising $500 million by June 30, 2024. More than half of the funds are earmarked for student financial aid.

The college has already raised more than $300 million in gifts and pledges during the so-called quiet phase of the campaign that began on July 1, 2018.

Named "From Here: The Campaign for Bowdoin" — a nod to the current strengths of the college and the possibilities ahead — the campaign is focused on people and programs and is grounded in three core promises at Bowdoin: to ensure access and affordability, to sustain and evolve a transformational liberal arts model for an education that is interdisciplinary and innovative, and to provide the resources and programs aimed at helping graduates secure a great first job after college, leading to fulfilling and productive careers.

"These are critical promises, and they represent who we are at Bowdoin," says Bowdoin President Clayton Rose. "Today, we live in a period of unprecedented change characterized by globalization, by challenges to established political, economic, and social institutions and norms, by information and knowledge generated from vast amounts of data, by the willful dismissal of science and fact and the withering of civil discourse, and by a thirst for wisdom and ethical judgment. It remains our charge and responsibility to prepare our students for the world they inherit. That's what this campaign is all about, and this is how we remain one of America's truly great colleges."

Access and Affordability
Bowdoin is committed to remaining one of only 19 colleges and universities in the country that provide need-based financial aid without required loans, and that meet a student's full financial need for all four years. Roughly half of Bowdoin students now receive financial aid, and the college distributes more than $41 million in aid each year. The campaign will provide $200 million in new endowment for financial aid, ensuring that family resources will never be a barrier to attending the college, or to a full Bowdoin experience. 

Academic Program
The College's academic reputation is the number-one reason students choose Bowdoin. Faculty form the backbone of that reputation, and together with Bowdoin's model of learning — small classes, collaboration, and individual attention — they maintain the college's traditions of personal learning and disciplinary knowledge. With the promise of an enduring and transformative liberal arts education, the campaign will raise $83 million to support faculty innovation in areas that include interdisciplinary scholarship, global perspectives and quantitative and digital literacy.

Preparation for a Career
Bowdoin's Career Exploration and Development Center (CXD) connects with students as early as their first year on campus. The campaign seeks to raise $37 million for expanded CXD programming, including $12 million for skill development and $25 million to fund internships across every industry.

Alumni Engagement
Bowdoin ranks fourth among all colleges and universities in America of any size in alumni participation. The campaign seeks to build on this success by also setting an engagement goal of 85 percent defined by donating, volunteering, or registering for an event.

The campaign is chaired by three couples comprising six alumni: Bowdoin College Trustee Sydney Asbury '03 and her husband, Michael Farrell '01; Trustee John McQuillan '87 and his wife, Elizabeth McQuillan '00; and Trustee Scott Perper '78 and his wife, Anne Perper '80.

The goal for "From Here: The Campaign for Bowdoin" is double that of Bowdoin's previous campaign, which sought $250 million and raised a total of $294 million between 2004 and 2009.

View the campaign website here.

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