Awards honoring outstanding leadership and service to the College will be presented May 30, 2015, during Reunion Convocation. Read about the other award recipients.
Mary Ann Villari, a member of the Class of 1975, and who 15 years ago left a successful career as a commercial real estate lawyer to further the mission of a pioneering nonprofit organization, has been selected by the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees to receive one of two 2015 Common Good Awards.
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.
Graduating from Bowdoin magna cum laude with a double major in philosophy and history, Villari went on to earn her law degree at Boston University and spent two decades practicing law in the field of commercial real estate finance, becoming a partner at Battle Fowler LLP.
At the turn of the millennium, Villari, of New York City, joined the nonprofit Broadway Housing Communities (founded by Ellen Baxter ’75) as a full-time volunteer and now serves as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. Villari’s expertise and commitment have served to strengthen the organization’s capacity and deepen the impact of its work fighting poverty and homelessness with an innovative model that integrates supportive and affordable housing with high quality early childhood education and cultural programs.
“Partnering with Ellen to support her groundbreaking work as a housing advocate and change agent has been an honor — and a rewarding and challenging second act for me,” said Villari.
“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to use my experience to help Broadway Housing Communities make a meaningful difference in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
Villari’s record of service to the College is similarly demonstrative of her sustained and genuine commitment. She has been an Alumni Club President, a Campaign volunteer, an Associate Class Agent, a Reunion Committee member and a BASIC Volunteer.
Villari was elected an Overseer of the College in 1987, and served on the Governing Boards, including the Board of Trustees, for 12 years. In 2001, the Bowdoin Alumni Council honored Villari for her service to the College with the Polar Bear Award.
The Common Good Awards will be presented Saturday, May 30, 2015, during Reunion Convocation.