News Archive 2009-2018

Richard Bail ’64 to Receive a 2014 Common Good Award Archives

Awards honoring outstanding leadership and service to the College will be presented May 31, 2014, during Reunion Convocation. Read about the other award recipients.

Richard Bail, a member of the Class of 1964 and a physician who has worked to help people around the globe, has been selected by the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees to receive one of three 2014 Common Good Awards.

Richard Bail '64

Richard Bail ’64

Bail, of West Newton, Mass., has an outstanding record of service to the field of medicine and to the delivery of health care to people around the world who are in greatest need and at greatest risk.

Established in 1994 on the occasion of the Bowdoin College Bicentennial, the Common Good Award honors those alumni who have demonstrated an extraordinary, profound and sustained commitment to the common good, in the interest of society, with conspicuous disregard for personal gain in wealth or status.

Bail is co-founder and president of Communities Without Borders, a non-governmental organization whose mission is to educate orphans and other vulnerable children in Africa. He founded it in 2000, after extensive work as a consultant in Zambia for UNAIDS to estimate the costs of the Zambian national HIV/AIDS program.

Dr. Bail has been an active member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Human Rights. In 1985 he was co-founder of Trust Through Health, a non-governmental organization dedicated to the purpose of Soviet-American cooperation to improve health in developing countries.

From 1991 to 1993, Bail worked for the World Health Organization in the African Regional Office as Health Strategy Coordinator, traveling widely in Africa and consulting on health policy. He has served as consultant to UNICEF, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is also a founding member of the Watertown Youth Coalition.

Bail graduated Bowdoin cum laude with a major in physics and went on to Dartmouth Medical School and the Harvard Medical School. He received his MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1989.

Bail has served as chief resident at Boston City Hospital, and a faculty member at the Center for Community Responsive Care Program in preventive medicine. He has been on the faculty at the Harvard Medical School in the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention since 1970, teaching primary care, clinical epidemiology and community health. He has been an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, teaching health policy of developing countries. He is currently practicing community oriented primary care at the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates health center in Watertown, Mass., and at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center.

Bail’s son Christopher is a member of the Class of 2002; his brother Frederick is a member of the Class of 1965.

Common Good Award recipients personify the idea of the common good as set forth by Bowdoin’s first president, Joseph McKeen. In his inaugural address on September 2, 1802, McKeen reminded his audience, “It ought always to be remembered that literary institutions are founded and endowed for the common good and not for the private advantage of those who resort to them for education. It is not that they may be able to pass through life in an easy and reputable manner, but that their mental powers may be cultivated and improved for the benefit of society.”

The Common Good Awards will be presented Saturday, May 31, 2014, during Reunion Convocation.

Registration for Reunion 2014 (May 29-June 1) opens in March.