Commencement 2015: Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 Delivers Greetings from the State of Maine

Olympic gold medalist and Trustee Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 delivered greetings from the State of Maine at Bowdoin’s 210th Commencement exercises, held May 23, 2015.

It is from this special Bowdoin College campus, today in its entire splendor with faculty, staff, students – and soon to be graduates of the Class of 2015, that I bring you heartfelt greetings from the great State of Maine.

Joan Benoit Samuelson '79

Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79

As a long-time resident of this state, and a member of the Bowdoin College family, I have come to recognize that Maine and Bowdoin are tightly woven together by the roots of the pine trees that so define our state and campus. These roots spread in all directions – absorbing all that is good and emitting what is even better.

I’m blessed to be rooted here in Maine and know that as I travel, espousing the benefits of good health and a healthy environment, I can always come home to a place that is known for its beauty on all levels, especially as it relates to the importance of serving the common good. It is the Maine and Bowdoin brand.

It is important not to allow the sun that greeted you upon your matriculation here four years ago, to set with your commencement here today. Life, like the tides of Casco Bay, will pull you through ebbs and flows as you go forth from Bowdoin. No two tides will ever be the same and every new tide will bring with it new opportunities. Your education here at Bowdoin, along with your classmates and very shortly, your fellow alumni, will support your efforts in every land in which you choose to live, work, raise a family, or visit.

May you enter the world on a rising tide of optimism. Know that Bowdoin and Maine will always rise with you to celebrate your contributions and accomplishments in local and global communities. As you set sail, make it a priority to set your moral compass on what truly matters in an increasingly more complex and challenging world.

There are wonderful things happening here in Maine. Bright, young and passionate Bowdoin College minds are helping to make our state a better place. May you long raise your songs to Bowdoin and hear the echoes in the Maine state song resonating with the scent of the fragrant pines, and the tang of the salty sea, to call you home.

For those of you who think you know Maine … did you know that nestled in the far western reaches of the state just east of Peru and Mexico and southeast of Mooselookmeguntic is the small but vibrant community of Berry Mills!

Barry, thank you for ALL that you’ve done to serve the Bowdoin and the Maine communities. May we always walk in your proud company. Graduates, keep your Maine bearings and Go You Bears!

 

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