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Julia O’Rourke takes on tour guide program amidst Fahey’s leave

September 16, 2022

Alex Spear
GUIDING US ALONG MEMORY LANE: Justin Fahey, whose last day is today, enthusiastically greets the camera. He reflects on his time as associate dean of admissions and head of the tour guide program.

Associate Dean of Admissions Justin Fahey will be leaving the tour guide program this week, wrapping up five years of work at the College. Approximately two years of his time were spent heading the program, a role that Assistant Dean of Admissions Julia O’Rourke ’19 will enthusiastically take on.

While O’Rourke hasn’t officially led a tour guide program before, she has led tours and held interviews during her time at Bowdoin. She looks forward to mentoring students and working intimately with the College community. Prior to her work at Bowdoin, O’Rourke  worked as a college advisor for the College Advising Corps in the Boston Public School system and as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Korea

“In my previous jobs, I spent the vast majority of my days engaging with students and getting to know them throughout the year,” O’Rourke wrote in an email to the Orient. “I absolutely loved that aspect of those jobs. So, I’m thrilled to have a chance to make meaningful connections with students at Bowdoin, too.”

Fahey found that his experience leading the tour guide program provided him with similar insight into the Bowdoin community. He noted that the positive feedback from prospective students and family members was the highlight of his involvement.

“Since my arrival at Bowdoin in 2017, I have been struck by the deep sense of compassion, kindness and warmth of the student body. It was not until taking over the tour guide program that I really began hearing the wealth of stories and anecdotes that tour guides bring to their respective tours,” Fahey wrote in an email to the Orient. “In this way, my knowledge and familiarity of this place has gotten so much deeper and more robust.”

Fahey added that his time as head of Tour Guide Program has increased his awe at the passion Bowdoin students have for their community and the efforts invested in not just their academics, but in the Common Good.

Fahey will be taking this insight with him to his new job at Bates College.

“While I will certainly miss working with the Bowdoin community and, particularly, Bowdoin students and tour guides, I am excited for a new chapter in my professional career. Indeed, I am excited to soon be a proper member of CBB (as a Colby alumnus, having worked at Bowdoin for five years, and now starting a job at Bates),” Fahey wrote.

O’Rourke looks forward to expanding on her short-term and long-term student outreach skills. Last year, she led the Student Admissions Volunteer Organization where she honed her organizational skills and made new connections with Bowdoin students.

“With a program this large and outward-facing, we’re making adjustments on a daily basis while also doing some broader, high-level brainstorming around how to best share the Bowdoin experience, how to make our tours more accessible, and more,” O’Rourke wrote.

Fahey is confident that O’Rourke will have no difficulty transitioning into her role as head of the Tour Guide Program at Bowdoin.

“As you likely know, [O’Rourke] is a Bowdoin alumna and an incredibly talented professional, runner and academic. But, most importantly, she is just a really solid, kind person. The tour guide team could not be in better hands,” Fahey wrote.


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