To the chagrin of many seniors, graduation approaches with haste. For many of us, this is a bittersweet time—we are eagerly looking to the future while also reflecting on the four years we have spent here. Bowdoin has been our home, and it is hard to part ways.
As much as we might believe our tuition dollars have covered the expense of classes, facilities and dormitories at Bowdoin, that is far from the truth. The endowment plays a huge role in subsidizing all of these things, not to mention the fact that it essential in supporting the College's ability to maintain a need-blind financial aid practice.
Despite our appreciation of Bowdoin, U.S. News and World Report calculates our alumni giving rate to just 51 percent. We can feel safe in assuming that a percentage of alums far greater than that enjoyed their time here. Where is the love, Bowdoin alumni?
It is true: times are tough. The economy is not helping everyone, and most people feel that if they are going to give money away, a college with hundreds of millions of dollars is not the place that needs it the most. But donating to Bowdoin is about giving back--giving back to the place that helped you grow and learn, so that others may do the same in your footsteps.
Especially in the first years out of college, the amount that we donate does not matter. It is the act itself that counts—the gesture more than the number. It is likely that if we give back to the College early on, we will be more apt to retain a connection to the institution as we move on with our lives beyond Brunswick.
Keep in mind that there are ways for you to control where your money goes, and that can make all the difference. Whether you choose the McKeen Center for the Common Good, the Outing Club, or the Office of Academic Affairs, give to a part of the College that matters most to you. Contributing to Bowdoin's funding, even in the smallest of ways, ensures that the parts of the school that you care about can continue beyond your stay here. A small contribution can sometimes be enough to support a single scholarship, club, or event in perpetuity. Investing in a small part of the College is a way of keeping your place at Bowdoin even after you walk across the commencement stage.
But money is not the only thing we can donate. Committing time and energy to the College by participating in alumni events, interviewing prospective students and making trips back to campus matter too. There are so many ways that we can take part in the future of this place.
Bowdoin can do better than 51 percent. Much better. Don't forget Bowdoin, and it won't forget you.
The editorial represents the majority view of the Bowdoin Orient's editorial board, which comprises Nick Daniels, Piper Grosswendt, Linda Kinstler and Seth Walder.