News Archive 2009-2018

Wil Smith ’00: ‘A Single Dad and His Unlikely College Roommate’ (NPR) Archives

Wil Smith '00 and his daughter, Olivia. Photo: StoryCorps.

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.