Bowdoin’s annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon was held Thursday, May 11, 2017, bringing together hundreds of students with the donors—alumni, parents, and friends of the College—who have provided the financial support that makes a Bowdoin education possible for them.
Calling it one of the great events of the year, President Clayton Rose welcomed students, alumni, families, and friends, and thanked them for their support of Bowdoin’s scholarship aid program.
“It is your generosity, like the generosity of those that have come before, that has allowed generations of students, like those extraordinary students who are with us this afternoon, to thrive at Bowdoin,” said President Rose.
“Each of you has dedicated yourselves to making it possible for every student that earns a spot at Bowdoin to come here and thrive.”
Following a performance by a string quartet comprising Ben Hoxie ’19, Anne McKee ’20, Hanna Renedo ’18, and Andrew Walter-McNeill ’19, those in attendance heard the inspirational stories of an alumna and a current student who themselves have benefitted from the very generosity celebrated over lunch in Thorne Hall.
Alison Rundlett ’03, a first-generation college student and now an attorney in Boston, spoke of growing up in the small town of Sidney, Maine, and of watching, with her three sisters, as her parents juggled multiple jobs while attending college courses at night until the day she and her sisters proudly watched as their parents received their college diplomas. Some time later, they would convene again when both parents received their MBAs.
“Nothing opens doors like an education does,” Rundlett said, mentioning often the scholarship from the Bernard Osher Foundation, founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher ’48, that helped provide her Bowdoin education.
Looking out over the crowded dining hall, Rundlett remarked that, herself included, scholarship students are the hungriest students.
“You are able—more than other students—to appreciate the value of the education you are receiving,” she said. “You work harder, which means, of course, that I am speaking to the room of students who are therefore the most likely to succeed.” Read the text of Alison Rundlett’s remarks in their entirety.
Tim Long ’17, a biochemistry and math major from Framingham, Massachusetts, shared the story of what he called the silent struggle of his senior year.
Long spoke of caring for his father, who had suffered the second stroke of his life, and how, on top of a challenging course load, his work as a first-year proctor, and his participation on the swim team, he also carried the responsibility involved with holding his father’s medical proxy and the constant consultations with doctors required for his care.
“As we celebrate the incredible generosity of everyone here, I can’t help but think about my own journey and how much Bowdoin, and the support of this community, has been a part of it,” Long said.
“Take this time as a moment to look back on your own journey, to think about the trials you’ve faced and the successes you’ve cherished. Having the opportunity to attend Bowdoin has challenged me, taught me to find help in others, and has allowed me to grow so much in such a relatively short amount of time.” Read the text of Tim Long’s remarks in their entirety.
“Our goal is to enable every student at Bowdoin, to the greatest extent possible, to fully experience a Bowdoin education, and you, our alumni make this possible,” Rose said. “Your support is at the core of what it means to be Bowdoin College, and what you do could not be more important to each individual student and to the heart and soul of our college, and for that, we are deeply, deeply grateful. Thank you.”